(Washington, DC) - As the Congressional Budget Conference Committee nears its deadline to craft a long-term fiscal plan, a new report released today by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) provides our elected leaders with a solid place to start: over half a trillion dollars’ worth of deficit reduction recommendations with appeal from across the political spectrum in, “Common Ground: Bridging the Political Divide with Deficit Reduction Recommendations for Congress.”
The two groups have long had divergent policy views, such as on stimulus spending and tax reform, but have joined forces to identify federal programs that both Republican and Democratic lawmakers should recognize as wasteful and inefficient uses of taxpayer dollars.
The U.S. PIRG and NTU study identifies more than 60 specific cuts in federal spending, including:
- Up to $151.6 billion in savings from eliminating wasteful subsidies to agribusiness and other corporations.
- As much as $197.2 billion in savings from ending low-priority or unnecessary military programs
- As much as $42.3 billion in savings from improvements to program execution and government operations.
- As much as $131.6 billion in savings from reforms to major entitlement programs
“Deficit reduction doesn’t have to be hard; there’s plenty of low hanging fruit. Before cutting public priorities, lawmakers should go after special interest handouts and government inefficiencies that make average taxpayers shake their heads in disbelief.” said co-author Jaimie Woo, U.S. PIRG Tax and Budget Associate. “These recommendations have support from across the political spectrum and Congress should use them as a roadmap to find common ground.”
“Elected officials who contend it’s impossible to keep the caps on federal spending that Congress enacted just two years ago should carefully read this report,” said NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp. “When it comes to setting aside excuses and putting the budget on a more sustainable path, U.S. PIRG and NTU have shown there’s a bipartisan direction for doing so.”
The report updates and builds on recommendations developed by U.S. PIRG and NTU in 2011 for the Congressional Super Committee, as well as the President’s 2010 fiscal commission. The commission adopted 20 of the 30 original PIRG-NTU recommendations in its 2010 bipartisan majority report.
The organizations plan to send their findings to the Budget Conference Committee, which has until December 13 to draw up a budget blueprint.