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Press Release


Nation’s Oldest Taxpayer Group Offers $3.1 Trillion in Savings at House Committee Hearing

For Immediate Release February 18, 2011

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By Doug Kellogg

(Washington, DC) – Members of Congress seeking a path to spending reductions now have at least a $3.1 trillion head start on, thanks to testimony offered yesterday on behalf of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU). Appearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, NTU Vice President of Government Affairs Andrew Moylan outlined numerous, specific ways to tackle the challenge of out-of-control government spending, which has become a national crisis.

Moylan described the immense spending problem that has developed over the last decade: “As a percentage of our economy, 2011 outlays will surpass a level unseen since the era of full-scale war mobilization in the 1940s, at over 25 percent…. We will raise through the tax code and spend roughly the federal budget of 2003 and throw in an amount approximating the 1982 federal budget just for good measure.”

Moylan offered 30 proposals worth $600 billion in savings from NTU and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in their joint report, “Toward Common Ground.: Bridging the Political Divide to Reduce Spending,” such as:

  • Save up to $62 billion by eliminating wasteful subsidies, largely on agriculture supports, subsidies for energy production, and “corporate welfare” programs such as overseas advertising subsidies.
  • Save $353 billion from improving contracting within the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
  • Save $500 million via eliminating payment errors, ending duplicative programs, and selling off unused property.
  • Save $104 billion through ending wasteful or outdated military programs such as the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle which is 14 years behind schedule.

He also pointed toward 100 specific program eliminations, totaling $330 billion, outlined in the Republican Study Committee’s “Spending Reduction Act”. “The above recommendations would save…at least $3.1 trillion over the course of a decade, but even that is insufficient in light of CBO estimates that the federal government will spend nearly $7 trillion more than it raises in taxes over the next ten years”, said Moylan.

In order to truly get the problem under control, Moylan advocated entitlement reform along the lines of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) “Roadmap for America’s Future”. He said, “The truth of the matter is that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are ‘gutting’ themselves right now and we simply must act if they are to survive in any form.” Medicare alone will devour 4.2 percent of GDP in 2020 and 14.3 percent of GDP in 2080.  He likewise discussed measures to prevent future budget disasters, most notably a Balanced Budget Amendment to put a Constitutional limit on spending.

“The arithmetic of our budget problems is elementary; it is the political calculus that has proven difficult,” Moylan concluded in his testimony. “NTU urges this Committee and the Congress as a whole to begin a systematic review of our obligations with sharp eyes toward a sustainable budget future.”

The 362,000-member NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. More information on NTU's work is available at www.ntu.org.