According to analysis published today by the Associated Press, "Obama’s latest budget-tightening effort hardly makes a dime’s worth of differenc."
In a toughly-worded article, AP writers Andrew Taylor and Calvin Woodward take Obama to task for asking his Cabinet to find $100 million in budget savings — much of it in already-proposed ideas — and passing it off as fiscal responsibility.
"Cut a latte or two out of your annual budget and you’ve just done as much belt-tightening as President Barack Obama asked of his Cabinet on Monday. The thrifty measures Obama ordered for federal agencies are the equivalent of asking a family that spends $60,000 in a year to save $6," Taylor and Woodward write in an article that can be found here.
In today’s Monday Message, I outline $282.3 billion in easily-achieveable savings. Specifically:
• Avert the oncoming fiscal crisis in Social Security by indexing initial benefits to changes in prices, instead of wages. Saves $47 billion annually by 2018. Without reforms like this, the program will go bankrupt or force trillions of dollars in destructive new taxes or borrowing.
• Turn Medicare into a block grant and freeze federal spending, forcing states to pursue cost-cutting reforms. Saves $227 billion annually by 2018.
• Eliminate the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, a $352 million corporate welfare program.
• Eliminate the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, another $369 million in corporate welfare.
• Eliminate the Energy Department’s nuclear energy research programs, $695 million in welfare that should be undertaken by nuclear energy investors.
• Turn Head Start over to private charities, saving $687 million annually. Since its inception Head Start has shown no substantive increase in inner-city literacy rates.
• Eliminate the Bureau of Indian Affairs, saving nearly $2.5 billion a year.
• Eliminate funding for the United Nations and other international programs, saving nearly $1.6 billion annually.
• Eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, saving $350 million annually.
• Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, $278 million a year in welfare for wealthy arts patrons.
• Eliminate the Small Business Administration, $530 million in welfare for businesses.
• Eliminate the $935 million a year in Postal Service subsidies and force them to further privatize operations.