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Reduce Federal Spending By Cutting Back Anywhere And Everywhere: A Guide For Bladder Shy, Financially Illiterate Republicans
The Federalist ^ | 01/25/2023 | Eddie Scarry

Posted on 01/25/2023 6:35:10 PM PST by SeekAndFind

If House Republicans were serious about making spending cuts at least practical, if not immediately achievable, it’s easily done.

At the start of the Netflix self-help documentary “Get Smart With Money,” a voice actor says, “How do you get ahead without taking out loans?” That, in a sentence, is the maddening thought process that animates Washington — Republicans, Democrats, and the media alike.

As we approach the federal debt ceiling, Republicans are doing the thing where they swear they won’t raise it without spending cuts, only to inevitably trip over themselves when asked the most innocuous, straightforward questions pertaining to what specifically they would like to reduce spending on.

Axios on Wednesday previewed that coming show. “Fiscal conservatives want to balance the federal budget,” it said. “Former President Trump has warned his party to leave Medicare and Social Security untouched. It’s basically impossible to do both — and every way House Republicans could try to square that circle comes with political risk.” Included in the article was a chart showing how much cutting would need to take place in broad swaths of the government — “defense spending,” Social Security, Medicare, etc. — in order to balance the federal budget over the course of a decade.

With everything on the table, there would need to be a 26 percent reduction. If you remove “defense spending” — which more accurately is military contract welfare — veteran benefits, Social Security, and Medicare (essentially, the most popular programs), there would need to be an 85 percent reduction in spending in every other area of the federal government.

Think of it like balancing your own household budget while taking off the table any cuts to premium brand groceries, any proposal to downsize your home, and any alternatives to your current health insurance and care providers, all of which make up the vast majority of your spending. If you’re not going to touch those, you’re going to have to make up for it by drastically chopping at the budget elsewhere — vacations, entertainment, beauty grooming, new clothing, and so on.

The intent is to scare Republicans, who, without fail, face that reality, and suddenly can’t blink or speak. Or worse, they come up with some politically suicidal proposal to “reform” (i.e “cut back”) Social Security as millions of Americans are on the cusp of eligibility.

This round will probably be a repeat, but if House Republicans were serious about making spending cuts at least practical, if not immediately achievable (Biden and Senate Democrats will nix any attempt), it’s easily done.

First, there’s no reason for the government to hold itself to a timeline on when the budget should be balanced. That is far too ambitious for the worthless, cowardly dummies in Congress.

Second, the only way to get started on reducing spending, let alone balancing the budget, is to get started on reducing spending. Start somewhere. Anywhere. Take Sen. Rand Paul’s annual government waste audit and spin the wheel. Wherever the arrow lands, whether it’s the nearly $2 billion for “maintaining 77,000 empty Federal buildings,” or the $200,000 for the Pentagon’s “Starbucks espresso machines,” gets a 10 percent cut. Or 5 percent. Anything.

In that Netflix documentary, one of the subjects hoping to get her finances in order says she orders food delivery almost nightly. That’s the kind of stupidity found in both Democrats and, more disappointingly, Republicans (more disappointing for no other reason than that they’re the ones who act like they understand basic monetary concepts like, “Saving money requires spending less than what comes in”).

Here’s a place we could save at least a little. Nah! I don’t like to cook!

Trust that any area proposed for a budget reduction will be greeted by all of Washington with some variation of, “But that’s only [insert marginal percentage] of the federal budget!” or “But that would mean [insert any excuse]!”

Excuses are the surest sign that something isn’t necessary. Trim it back. And if anything is as critical as the government bureaucrats say it is, they’ll figure out how to make it work with less. Just like everyone else in America.

But again, this would require Republicans to actually start somewhere. When have they ever done that?

Eddie Scarry is the D.C. columnist at The Federalist and author of "Liberal Misery: How the Hateful Left Sucks Joy Out of Everything and Everyone."

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: congress; debtlimit; eddiescarry; inflation; spending

1 posted on 01/25/2023 6:35:10 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Cut the military except for the Navy. There’s a lot of fat there.

2 posted on 01/25/2023 6:42:12 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
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To: SeekAndFind

Eliminate base line budgeting, freeze federal hiring and reduce all federal departments by 10 percent per year until we have a surplus on the federal books. Why not eliminate agencies that have no purpose beyond their existence. The Legal Services Corporation sued Congress for threatening to terminate funding and WON! Midnight basketball, and a plethora of other agencies need to be abolished.
The American monetary system is worthless and eventually will fail. These people really think we’re going to repay a 30 trillion fiat money debt? STOP THE SPENDING!!!!

3 posted on 01/25/2023 6:45:44 PM PST by Fungi
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To: SeekAndFind

Put the college lending back in the hands of the banks. We had no business making this a government lending project.

4 posted on 01/25/2023 6:48:53 PM PST by Sacajaweau ( )
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To: SeekAndFind

Take a copy of Article 1 Section 8. Take a copy of the list of Federal Agencies.

Where list B doesn’t expressly match list A... Cut it from the buget completely.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

5 posted on 01/25/2023 6:53:23 PM PST by Dead Corpse (A Psalm in napalm...)
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To: SeekAndFind

Zero based budgeting, with line item veto for the President.

6 posted on 01/25/2023 6:56:53 PM PST by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. The Dhimmicraps are ALL Traitors. All of them.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Take all spending to the states and all social spending within the states, and give the total in one lump sum to the states with no strings attached. Then reduce that amount by 10% each year for the next ten years. If the states want to continue that spending let them do it on their own dime. Return the federal government to the limited responsibilities listed in the enumeration of powers in Article I of the Constitution, eliminating all regulations that do not flow directly from them. Then close all those departments and agencies that have nothing to do. Also, if a trade or service does not actually cross state lines then it is not interstate trade is outside of all federal jurisdiction and regulations.

7 posted on 01/25/2023 6:57:24 PM PST by Petrosius
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To: SeekAndFind

They can eliminate the IRS by repealing the 16th Amendment and replacing it with the Fair Tax.

8 posted on 01/25/2023 7:24:17 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Blacks have placed stronger chains on themselves than the slave masters of old ever forged.)
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To: SeekAndFind

here’s a concept, 10% cut across the board on discretionary spending

9 posted on 01/25/2023 7:40:03 PM PST by Chode (there is no fall back position, there's no rally point, there is no LZ... we're on our own. #FJB)
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To: SeekAndFind

Three things:
1. 10% cut in personnel, across the board from the top down, including generals and admirals.
2. Wage freeze for everybody, except military
3. Hiring freeze, except military

And they can take all those guns and ammo that various departments bought and give them to the military.

10 posted on 01/25/2023 7:59:07 PM PST by NTHockey (My rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners. And to the NSA trolls, FU)
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To: SeekAndFind

Privatize PBS. End grants to all non profit and social justice groups. Shut down the Department of Education and HUD. Shut down the “Do Not Call Registry”. Bring the military home from overseas and station it on the southern border with shoot to kill authorization while construction of the border wall is completed.

End aid to Ukraine, let Europe deal with European issues. End federal block grants to states and local governments. End Obamacare. Reinstitute a work requirement for welfare benefits. Deport immediately all illegal immigrants.

Pass a sunset law for federal programs requiring they be reauthorized by Congress at least every three years and the reauthorization for each program must be in a single bill with a recorded vote by member of the House and Senate. End omnibus spending bills.

Place a minimum 20% tariff on all imported goods.

Tax private foundations and require them to cease operation 20 years after being established. When foundations sunset, the remaining unspent funds go to the US Treasury, not other foundations.

All fees, fines, and legal judgments received by the federal government go to the general treasury. No more disbursement of these funds to social justice organizations and other outside groups.

Immediately end authorization for unspent Covid emergency funds.

Privatize the federal flood insurance program.

Resume oil and mining leases on public lands.

End automatic increases in the budget baseline for budgeting purposes.

Require corporations and unions to fully fund their pension plans within five years. Long term this will save the government from bailing out pension funds.

End green energy and ethanol subsidies.

Use anti trust law to break up large corporations. Free markets are most effective with many competitors.

Return to budget discipline in Congress by requiring appropriations for new spending, or spending increases for existing programs, to be offset by specific cuts in other spending and or tax increases.

11 posted on 01/26/2023 2:18:41 AM PST by Soul of the South (The past is gone and cannot be changed. Tomorrow can be a better day if we work o)
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To: SeekAndFind

We shouldn’t be cutting anything right now. After they(democrats and rinos) have spent an extra 1-2 trillion every 6 months since covid farce began now they want republicans to get the bad press for throwing grandma over the cliff? No spending cuts to existing programs! Just block any new spending bills.

12 posted on 01/26/2023 4:27:24 AM PST by McCarthysGhost (q)
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To: Fungi


It's TIME to DownSize_DC!

Restore the Constitution!Size DC!

13 posted on 01/26/2023 5:27:47 AM PST by Texas Fossil ((Texas is not where you were born, but a Free State of Heart, Mind & Attitude!))
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To: SeekAndFind
Ive got one that is super easy. Review EVERY dollar going overseas and cut out EVERY one of them that is a special interest or bulls#!t expense.I really could go for just cutting ALL of the overseas money period. If people want to give money to overseas projects or causes they can. It IS NOT Congress job to dole out taxpayer money on overseas interests.
Next to go, all of the BS research projects that these people dream up. This includes the LGBQT special funding. Now, if you are researching a cure for cancer and have identifiable and set goal posts to hit, that may be fundable.
Anyone have a ballpark idea how much money goes overseas for BS that is NOT going to help US CITIZENS HERE?
14 posted on 01/26/2023 7:34:12 PM PST by alexandria (Amnesty - Because re-electing democrats is a job Americans just won't do.)
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