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NTU to Congressional Panel: No Excuses, Bi-Partisan Spending Cut Recommendations Add Up to over $1 Trillion
For Immediate Release October 5, 2011
Douglas Kellogg, (703) 683-5700
Today, Vice President of Government Affairs for the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) Andrew Moylan testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in support of over $1 trillion in budget reductions detailed in NTU and U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s (U.S. PIRG’s) new “Common Ground” report.
In his testimony, Moylan warned that failure to immediately begin the challenging work of reducing the federal budget would lead to a debt disaster that could easily force massive program cuts as well as crushing tax hikes, a situation that neither political party would want. He laid out the case for NTU and U.S. PIRG’s report as a non-controversial first step that would help meet the Congressional “Super Committee’s” mandate for $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.
“We authored this joint report…to identify spending reductions that could be undertaken without fundamentally harming the core operations of the federal government as either conservatives or liberals understand them.” Moylan said.
In citing some of the specific recommendations, he called out “corporate welfare”, agriculture supports, and subsidies for energy production: “For example, the Market Access Program…consumes taxpayer dollars to fund advertising and promotion in foreign countries for American companies including McDonald’s.”
On the defense spending side Moylan used the example of the V-22 Osprey as a failure for taxpayers, “the V-22 Osprey has suffered from numerous schedule, management, cost and production issues. Cancelling it…could save taxpayers $15 billion.”
Moylan also addressed relatively unknown programs that represent boondoggles for taxpayers, such as the ““Abandoned Mine Restoration Program,” a $1.23 billion funding stream which is unrestricted and often spent on unrelated projects.”
In addressing entitlements Moylan emphasized the “no-brainer” reforms proposed on the “Common Ground” report, such as “reducing excess Medicare payments” and “empowering the Social Security Administration to recoup overpayments in disability programs.” However, he also made clear that from NTU’s perspective, further entitlement reform is necessary, and these measures are only an immediate first step in the right direction.
Beyond the solutions he offered, Moylan also volunteered some praise for the Obama Administration : “The President has been a leader in addressing improper payments made by the federal government.” In addition to improper payments reform, Moylan lauded the White House’s initiative to reinvigorate the Office of Special Counsel’s whistleblower protection operation.
However, Moylan also countered with sharper criticism of the President’s $3.7 trillion budget proposal for 2012 saying, “It strains credulity to claim that a comprehensive waste assessment could have been completed hand-in-hand with such a stunningly profligate budget outline.”
Moylan closed by calling for the committee members and government as a whole to finally follow through on longstanding commitments to attack wasteful spending and take on the political battles necessary to make those promises a reality.
In addition to NTU, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (our research and educational arm) has done yeoman’s work on government spending, analyzing reform plans and tracking legislative proposals that would reduce spending through its BillTally project. Learn more at ntu.org and ntu.org/ntuf.