House Conservatives Introduce Spending Cuts: $2.5 Trillion Over Ten Years

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 20 2011 12:21 PM

House Conservatives Introduce Spending Cuts: $2.5 Trillion Over Ten Years

You can stop needling Republicans about what programs they want to cut now. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)'s Republican Study Committee is introducing the Spending Reduction Act of 2011, to cut back "non-security discretionary spending" to 2008 levels and to slice that spending back to 2006 levels from 2012 onward. That, they point out, would keep it "the same level as in effect during the last year of GOP control of the Congress."

The proposal does what Republicans have been talking about for two years -- "repeal" of remaining stimulus funds (now $45 billion), privatizing Fannie and Freddie ($30 billion), repealing Medicaid' FMAP increase ($16.1 billion), and what they estimate at $330 billion in discretionary spending cuts. Highlights of these projected annual savings:

- Cutting the federal workforce by 15 percent through attrition, and do this by allowing only one new federal worker for every two who quit.
- Killing the "fund for Obamacare administrative costs" for $900 million
- Ending Amtrak subsidies for $1.565 billion
- Ending intercity and high speed rail grants for $2.5 billion
- Repealing Davis-Bacon for $1 billion
- Cutting annual general assistance to the District of Columbia by $210 million, and cutting the subsidy for DC's transit authority by $150 million.

Reforms that go after their own perks:
- Cutting the Federal Travel Budget in half, for $7.5 billion
- Cutting the Federal Vehicle Budget by 1/5, for $600 million
- Halve funding for congressional printing - $47 million annual savings
- Ending the death gratuity for members of Congress

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Advertisement

And cuts that get revenge for Juan Williams: $445 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, $167.5 million from the NEA, and $167.5 million from the NEH.

"Everything on this list pales in importance to saving the country," said Rep. John Campbell (R-Ca.). "We are much closer to the Greece-Ireland-Spain precipice than any of us would like to believe."

Jordan was asked whether Republicans had calculated how many jobs would be eliminated by these cuts. "We think if you reduce federal government spending, you actually create jobs," said Jordan. He did say that these specific cuts had been brainstormed by the RSC but not presented to House leaders yet.

I asked freshman Rep. Joe Walsh about this too -- specifically, wouldn't the cuts to high-speed rail funds hurt Illinois, because that state was being reappropriated funds that had been allocated to Ohio and Wisconsin?

"High-speed rail is on the table," said Walsh. "It has to be." D.C. Metro funds, too? "My son went to school here, so I know what a great system this is, but everything's on the table."

Another reporter noted that funds for Chicago's metro, the L, were not on the block. "They should be," he said.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Global Marches Demand Action on Climate Change

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.