In the midst of the federal budget process, lawmakers remain divided along partisan lines on how to prioritize taxpayer dollars and how to address the fiscal gap between revenues and expenditures. A new report released today by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) provides our elected leaders with some much-needed common ground for progress. Suggesting over $260 billion of deficit reduction recommendations with appeal from across the political spectrum, “Toward Common Ground: Bridging the Political Divide with Deficit Reduction Recommendations for Congress” should act as a roadmap for lowering the deficit without compromising our national priorities.
“The suggestions made in this report are the low-hanging fruit that should be plucked out of our budget before we start cutting public priorities. Special interest giveaways, redundant spending, and government inefficiencies bloat our debt and divert funding from useful programs, and these recommendations represent some of the worst of the worst,” said Michelle Surka, U.S. PIRG Tax and Budget Advocate.
The two groups who worked on the report have long had divergent policy views on the government’s role in regulation, on what smart tax reform would look like, and on how to handle our national debt. But U.S. PIRG and NTUF have joined forces to identify federal programs that both Republican and Democratic lawmakers should recognize as wasteful and inefficient uses of taxpayer dollars. When the budget is reformed to cut out wasteful spending, we can better work to fund the programs that do work for the public and start to cut down our ballooning debt.
“Enacting the bipartisan recommendations detailed in this report would be an important step toward reining in wasteful, duplicative, and cronyistic federal spending. Taxpayers want to see leaders establish sound fiscal policy that works towards a balanced budget and reduces the debt. It is time to confront the debt and stop passing it on to the next generation,” said Spencer Woody, NTUF Associate Policy Analyst.
NTUF and U.S. PIRG study identifies over 50 specific cuts in federal spending, including:
● $124 billion in savings from eliminating wasteful subsidies to agribusiness and other corporations
● $78 billion in savings from ending low-priority or unnecessary military programs
● $25 billion in savings from improvements to program execution and government operations
● $36 billion in savings from reforms to major entitlement programs
These recommendations touch on every part of the federal budget, and include big-ticket expenses such as a $15 billion reform of the U.S. Navy’s Ford class aircraft carriers and relatively small ones, like $10 million in spending for the publishing and unsolicited distribution of the Federal Register to federal employees. The proposals are specific, detailed, and actionable items that Congress and the Administration could pursue right now to reduce spending, and ensure stability for America’s long-term budget.
The report updates and builds on recommendations developed by U.S. PIRG and NTUF in 2013 for the Congressional Super Committee. In past years, recommendations from this report have been incorporated into the federal budget.
You can find a copy of this report here.
U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization.
The National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) is America’s independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers.