Friday, May 28, 2010

YouCut: Nibbling at the Edges

I was just reading about YouCut, an initiative sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor to garner support for spending cut proposals. The idea is this: the mind-trust of the House GOP Leadership proposes spending cuts and asks for the public to vote on them. Whichever proposal garners the most votes is put forward in the U.S. House of Representative. Sounds pretty cool, right?

Here's a list of the Top 5:

1. Refocus National Archives Activities On Preserving Federal Records
$10 million in Savings in the First Year ($100 Million Over Ten Years)
2. Reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
$30 billion savings (Assume $3 billion in first year)
3. Terminate Broadcasting Facility Grant Programs that Have Completed their Mission
$25 million in Savings in the First Year ($250 million Over Ten Years)
4. Reduce Spending on Non-Essential and Questionable Research
$3.8 million in Savings in the First Year
5. Consolidate and Reduce Funding for Federal Advisory Committees
$34 million in Savings in the First Year ($170 Million Over Five Years)

Now for the cumulative result: $3.1 billion the first year. Forget about the out-lying years, there's too much speculation for an honest answer. But think about it, in just the first year we're talking $3.1 billion! Wow!

How does that $3.1 billion measure up to the deficit? I checked the U.S. National Debt Clock and it totaled $13 trillion in debt. That seems like a lot, but how does that compare to YouCut's proposals?

For giggles, let's lop off a few zeros. Let's ratchet down the national debt by a factor of 1 million. $13 trillion becomes $13 million. Easy enough, right? Okay, consider this: $3.1 billion becomes $3,100.

Yeah, you read it right, $3,100.00. Pocket change for Washington insiders, unless you consider that it's coming out of YOUR pocket. That's a decent down-payment on a car for most people, but not something that you'd consider paying down on your mortgage. Wouldn't make a dent, right?

The proposals on YouCut won't make a dent in our national debt. They wouldn't even qualify as a joke in the Democratic Caucus room. They're nothing!

Here is what we need to focus on:

1. Medicaid/Medicare benefits
$105 billion
2. Social Security
$686 billion
3. Federal Pensions
$192 billion
4. Interest on Debt
$195 billion
5. Earmarks
$18 billion

I offer a simple solution: mandate a cut to the above expenditures by 50%. Figure out how to apportion the remainder. To hell with the consequences, we're broke no matter what.

Just a suggestion for YouCut.

1 comment:

  1. I like your plan much better than YOUCUT's plan. But, at least Cantor is trying to listen to the American people and cut some spending. Although, maybe he is being realistic with the Dems having the majority in congress right now?