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Thursday, June 4, 2009

$23 billion in savings

House Republicans have responded to President Obama's calls for specifics on the budget with a list of $23 billion in cuts over the next five years, according to an Associated Press report at Yahoo News:
In April, Cantor praised Obama for instructing Cabinet secretaries to produce $100 million worth of commonsense cuts this year. Obama's cuts were met with a lot of derision for being merely a drop in the bucket as the government faces extraordinarily large deficits, and Cantor said the president could do a lot better. Obama told him to come up with suggestions.

The result is a list of 37 specific program cuts that would save taxpayers more than $23 billion over the next five years and more than $5 billion in the first year alone.

Some of the GOP cuts haven't been estimated by federal scorekeepers and the party has padded its own estimate by assuming $317 billion over the next five years from limiting non-defense agency budgets to inflation-adjusted levels that Obama is sure to reject.
The President's call to save $100 million while spending trillions was ridiculous. The Republican alternative, which would save about $5 billion next year, is less so, but hardly a serious attack on out of control federal spending. Both parties need to get serious about attacking the real deficit drivers in the federal budget and have the courage to turn down pork for their districts in exchange for supporting bloated deficit spending.

$23 billion is better than a sharp stick in the eye, but it hardly establishes the House Republican Caucus as the voice of fiscal discipline. In reality, it marks them merely as somewhat less wasteful than their Democratic colleagues.

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