Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Five Budget Cuts Congress Hasn't Considered
Townhall.com ^ | July 5, 2010 | Lurita Doan

Posted on 07/05/2010 7:56:36 AM PDT by Kaslin

Congress and President Obama talk a good story when discussing the need for federal budget cuts, but Americans will know they are serious when they eliminate certain sacred cows from the federal budget.  Over the past 17 months, the Obama Administration has made token attempts at budget cutting, promising cuts tomorrow if allowed to spend today.  But, with an annual deficit of $1.2 trillion and public debt of $13,200,000,000,000.00, more stringent measures are needed. 

While some officials have suggested limited cost containment, there are some programs, totaling over a trillion dollars, which neither Congress nor Obama seem to have considered cutting. 

1.       Cap the number of White House staffers & Czars: Czars have garnered a good bit of media attention over the past year, but little attention has been paid to the staff of these Czars.  Currently, the Obama Administration has approximately 42 Czars and each of these czars comes with requirements for office space, technology, supplies and staff that amount to billions of taxpayer dollars.  Getting a grip on the czar’s expenditures would equal or even exceed the $100billion-over-5-years budget cuts proposed by Defense Secretary Gates. 

White House Staffers have also grown in number over the past two decades with approximately $40 million in pay. And, while a recent White House report on staff cites 17 fewer employees than last year, the report does not take into account the full contingent from the Vice President’s office, from OMB staff or Czars.

2.       Eliminate Agency and Congressional slush funds:  When Executive agency programs are cut, the funding is reallocated to other, internal agency priorities by the Agency head. When Agencies have programs that end early or have unused funds, these funds usually do not go back to the Treasury.  In fact, it is very difficult to return unused funding to the Treasury department.   The funding stays in a “slush” fund at Congress or at the federal agency, unmonitored, for the most part, except the Congressional or Agency CFOs, and often becomes the “go-to” place for pet projects or to cover agency or congressional over spending.  These slush funds range from a few million to several hundred million and are not transparent to the American taxpayer, nor are most members of Congress aware of their existence or size.

3.       Cut certain bonuses for federal workers:  Public service is not supposed to be a path to wealth.  Currently, federal agency employees can receive annual retention bonuses and signing incentive bonuses that can go as high as $50,000 per individual.  At a time when unemployment is at 9.5%  all signing and retention bonuses should be eliminated.  These “bonuses” are one of the ways bureaucrats can augment a federal employee’s salary above the standard civil service pay scale.  Retention and Incentive bonuses also carry no requirement for performance evaluation. Many federal workers receive retention bonuses each month for decades while employed by the federal government.

4.       Eliminate phantom federal employees and their contingent slush funds: Federal Agencies never have on staff the full quota of employees allowed by OPM or their federal budgets because the hiring process is lengthy and there is a continual cycle of hiring and attrition at all federal agencies. However, each year, all Executive agencies place a line item in the federal budget and allocate the payroll & benefits costs as if these employees existed.  The amount of federal funding allocated to these “phantom” employees is in the billions.  This funding provides a convenient slush fund within federal agencies that can then be re-allocated mid-year to other agency priorities not approved by Congress.

5.       Reduce the number of committees and subcommittees in Congress:  Congress has approximately 23 House committees with 104 House subcommittees.  The Senate has approximately 17 standing committees with 70 subcommittees.  In addition, there are approximately 69 Joint (Senate/House) committees as well as several Conference committees.  Committees require staff ranging from office administrators to chiefs-of-staff to general counsels to research assistants.  These personnel require office space, supplies, technology and travel expenses to perform their duties.  All of this occurs at taxpayer expense.

With fewer congressional committees and less staff, there might be less time and resources devoted to witch-hunts and show trials, and more effort spent on the business of government.

Congress and President Obama have been myopic, thinking that the primary way to improve the nation’s bottom line is by increasing taxes on American citizens.  Yet, any good businessman knows that creating sustainable economic growth requires both an increase in revenue and cuts in expenditures.  After 17 months of out-of-control, bloated legislation costing trillions of dollars, Congress and Obama have shown they are serious about spending. Now let’s see them get serious about budget cuts.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: broke; budget; governmentwaste; gubermint; obamanomics; pensions; pork; public; spending; waste

1 posted on 07/05/2010 7:56:39 AM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Excellent! We need to make a much bigger issue of this.


2 posted on 07/05/2010 7:58:35 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.


3 posted on 07/05/2010 8:01:42 AM PDT by silverleaf (Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

BUMP!


4 posted on 07/05/2010 8:04:44 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: silverleaf
BUMP!
5 posted on 07/05/2010 8:05:39 AM PDT by BenLurkin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: silverleaf

Yes! Omar Bar Hus O’Bumouti is really a queen termite.


6 posted on 07/05/2010 8:07:06 AM PDT by downtownconservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
That's why one of my three tenants of economic recovery--in addition to a MASSIVE overhaul of the income tax system and reigning the excesses of Wall Street--is to audit EVERY Federal, state and local government agency for bureaucratic overlap and agency bloat and use the audit recommendations to reduce government size at least 30%, with 50% as a possible goal.
7 posted on 07/05/2010 8:07:32 AM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Over the past 17 months, the Obama Administration has made token attempts at budget cutting, promising cuts tomorrow if allowed to spend today.

There it is again, my tagline! LOL except it's not LOL

8 posted on 07/05/2010 8:07:46 AM PDT by fightinJAG (Obama: "I will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Retention bonuses? Cut them immediately and tell federal employees that if they can find a better job somewhere else, go for it.


9 posted on 07/05/2010 8:11:06 AM PDT by fhayek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin


3. Cut certain bonuses for federal workers: Public service is not
supposed to be a path to wealth.

Tell that to some of my friends that work for the EPA.
They’ll chuckle and tell you that they became “accidental millionaires”
by taking government jobs about 25 years ago.

(In other words, the perks are so good, they didn’t have to even work
hard to get rich.)


10 posted on 07/05/2010 8:11:33 AM PDT by VOA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
There is only one way to cut the federal budget and we can't do anything until 2012 when we get the wheels of power behind us and both branches of Congress in the r box.

At that point we should scrap every department of govt. there is and basically start over.

It's the only solution.

Otherwise you could engage in a never ending pissing contest over nickels and dimes and windup letting the country go bankrupt just from what spending is already in the pipeline.

The Joker has already spent all the money we could ever spend for the rest of this decade. The only chance for the country is to defund all of it and start over.

11 posted on 07/05/2010 8:12:02 AM PDT by rodguy911 ( Sarah 2012!!! Home of the free because of the brave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RayChuang88

Whydon’t we just get rid of the entire federal education bureaucracy?

We can replace it with a nation-wide standardized test to get a high diploma. (Oh, wait. We already have the GED.) States can figure out how to provide schools.


12 posted on 07/05/2010 8:13:19 AM PDT by fightinJAG (Obama: "I will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Steal a page from Arnold’s playbook and cut all federal salaries to the minimum wage including salaries for congress critters, their aides, executive branch minions, IRS employees, and federal Judges.


13 posted on 07/05/2010 8:37:25 AM PDT by scottteng ( IMPEACH OBAMA and elect Snitker as Florida Senator)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: scottteng; All
Start with “energy” defund the present department reinvent it,call it EnergyII, put a few good people in charge and go from there. Cut out 50% of the entire dept. Cut salaries 50%,let people know that from now on it will be govt. service not careers. It starts like that.
14 posted on 07/05/2010 8:43:39 AM PDT by rodguy911 ( Sarah 2012!!! Home of the free because of the brave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: SumProVita
Too tame. Try this one:

All Federal employees excepting military below full colonel to take a 15% pay cut. All federal retirements to take a 10% cut.

HUD, Education, to take a spending cut of 20%.

All farm price supports to be done away with.

All current Social Security recipients to take a 10% cut. All future, i.e. under 65 years to take a 10% cut. For all who have 20 years to retireor more, partial benefits at 70 years, full benefits at 75 years ofage.

If we are going to cut, and we must, lets cut big!

15 posted on 07/05/2010 8:56:32 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: RayChuang88

Takes too long. Just start eliminating Departments in terms of how ineffective they are. Start with the Depastment of Energy and Department of Education. Then IRS and H&HS.


16 posted on 07/05/2010 9:01:40 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Jimmy Valentine

All federal, NON-military retirements and you got a deal.


17 posted on 07/05/2010 9:09:30 AM PDT by dcwusmc (A FREE People have no sovereign save Almighty GOD!!! III OK We are EVERYWHERE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Kill the following agencies:

1. DEA
2. Dept of Ed
3. Dept of Energy
4. Homeland Security
5. HUD
6. Dept of Ag
7. Dept of Labor
8. Eliminate all Czars
9. Cut WH staff 1/2
10. Cut Congress by 1/2
11. All other Fed Employees take a 50% cut immediately.


18 posted on 07/05/2010 9:35:21 AM PDT by DownInFlames
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DownInFlames
Its better to defund them all,that way you haven't fired anyone or upset the apple cart legally,congress just didn't give them any money.

They can sue their asses off won't get a dime. Start over create an entire new govt. Redo all departments, eliminate some,privatize others,its now a matter of having a feasible/affordable govt. or not.

19 posted on 07/05/2010 10:01:05 AM PDT by rodguy911 ( Sarah 2012!!! Home of the free because of the brave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: DownInFlames

I agree with you on the Departments of Education, Energy, and Agriculture. I Do not agree to eliminate Homeland Security. 9/11 made it necessary. However no Union people should be allowed in it. I am not sure about the Department of Labor. I agree completely on the Czars. And somewhat on the White House staff. I disagree with you to cut Congress by 50 percent. You realize The more populous a state is the more Representatives it needs. And aren’t military personnel Federal employees? Do you want to cut their pay 50 percent? I don’t think so


20 posted on 07/05/2010 10:11:43 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

..................Now let’s see them get serious about budget cuts.....................

What’s a budget?

We don’t need no stinkin’ budget!


21 posted on 07/05/2010 10:33:19 AM PDT by Noob1999
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin; All
FReepers have made some good suggestions on this thread. Not a surprise though. I would like to add to the mix that we need true “at will” employment across the board. Those that produce get to do just that. Those that do just enough to get by, get to go flip burgers or pick lettuce. Employers, out of fear of law suits or because of employee contracts, are not able to get rid of dead weight. They are also not able to adjust wages downward if that's what the market is paying. Toooo many people, good employees or not, have seen their salaries grow to an unsustainable level. Public sector employees have seen the biggest growth, but it is also true for some levels of pay in the private sector. This is becoming more evident as the pool of unemployed becomes larger.
22 posted on 07/05/2010 10:44:03 AM PDT by LuvFreeRepublic (Support our military or leave. I will help you pack BO!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RayChuang88
audit EVERY Federal, state and local government agency for bureaucratic overlap and agency bloat

and criminal activities such as stealing and not doing their jobs (some not even showing up).

23 posted on 07/05/2010 11:00:59 AM PDT by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: RayChuang88

[...use the audit recommendations to reduce government size at least 30%, with 50% as a possible goal.]

Let’s see...the govt should police itself to reduce itself (of which it is not in the business) and release all those employees to the unemployment lines to enhance its image.

NEVER GONNA HAPPEN!

When this country crashes and total elimination of government happens, then and only then will we no longer have a growing government.


24 posted on 07/05/2010 11:19:15 AM PDT by Blue Collar Christian (A "tea bagger"? Say it to my face. ><BCC>)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

If the Founders were told about the BATF, they would either say “The bureau of what?????” Or, “Egads, one stop shopping? Verily, God has created a great nation.”


25 posted on 07/05/2010 11:20:00 AM PDT by MattinNJ (Iron Man 2-a great conservative movie.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Every budget item cut by 20/25%, is basic plus the above mentioned items.


26 posted on 07/05/2010 11:58:55 AM PDT by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Reading this, why am I reminded of the (defunct) Ottoman Empire?
27 posted on 07/05/2010 12:05:43 PM PDT by Gritty (Modern liberals might as well march around wearing jackboots and arm bands - Don Feder)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dcwusmc

Lets do it!


28 posted on 07/05/2010 12:22:52 PM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: LuvFreeRepublic
The entire concept of Govt. careers needs to be changed to Govt. service.

We need more people from Congress on down who will serve one, two terms get out, go back to private enterprise along with govt. workers who are not career people but are working for govt. because they have already done well in private enterprise and are now ready to serve their country for a while.

Private enterprise needs to be cherished instead of demagogued and attacked. There is no place for unions in govt.

29 posted on 07/05/2010 1:23:58 PM PDT by rodguy911 ( Sarah 2012!!! Home of the free because of the brave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; blueyon; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ...
Thanks Kaslin.
30 posted on 07/05/2010 6:59:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Start looking into the incredible number of federal agencies, commissions, study boards, foundations, etc., and you’ll be appalled at the sheer immensity of our “limited” government.

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board? Millennium Challenge Corporation? African Development Corporation? Ridiculous! Search.USA.Gov brags about giving access to 30 million government web sites. Say what?

Of course, all of these agencies require staff, office space, salaries, expenses and travel. But of course. And should you suggest trimming even one of these VITAL and NECESSARY agencies, they’ll call down an IRS audit on your head while naming you a heathen in public.

We need a president with a spine and a Congress full of real people to tackle this problem. But that will take years ... starting on November 2.


31 posted on 07/05/2010 8:10:28 PM PDT by DNME (Prepare ... quickly. Time grows short.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
This funding provides a convenient slush fund within federal agencies that can then be re-allocated mid-year to other agency priorities not approved by Congress.

I think this is illegal. Anti-deficiency act. "Purpose rule." Not saying it isn't done...it's a criminal offense with fines + jail time I believe.

32 posted on 07/05/2010 8:16:56 PM PDT by Felis_irritable
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Regarding military, I was talking only civilian federal pay and benies.


33 posted on 07/08/2010 6:44:33 PM PDT by DownInFlames
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson