Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has released her proposal to reign in federal spending, amounting to over $425 billion in cuts annually. Shortly after releasing this spending cut proposal, Bachmann delivered the Tea Party response to the President's State of the Union speech, after fellow Republican Paul Ryan (R-WI) gave the official Republican response. Bachmann's speech criticized the President's excessive spending in the previous two years and called for the 112th Congress to roll back the size of government. In her statement announcing what she would cut, Bachmann said:
I’m against another increase of the government’s debt ceiling. Instead of making it easier for Washington to spend more of your tax dollars, I’m calling for Congress to do the hard work of making real and necessary cuts in federal spending. I have put the following list on the table for discussion and I’m calling on other members of Congress to do the same.
The cuts she proposes touch nearly all areas of discretionary spending. She supports Secretary Gates' proposals for cutting defense spending, cuts to agriculture, huge changes to the Department of Education and transportation, serious government reform efforts, rescinding the remainder of the stimulus money, eliminating various tax expenditures, and many more.
|Spending Cut||Savings (Annual)*|
|Devolve Federal Highway Spending, Privatize many agencies like Amtrak and eliminate many grants||$60.7 Billion|
|Repeal Unspent Stimulus||$60 Billion|
|Upgrade Government Technology to Halve Medicare Payment and Income Tax Errors by 2012||$44 Billion|
|Defense Cuts Proposed by Sec. Gates||$35.6 Billion|
|Cut or Eliminate Department of Education||$29 or $31 Billion|
|Eliminate Additional Child Refundable Tax Credit and Community Development Financial Institutions Fund||$26.7 Billion|
|Cut federal properties, travel, vehicle fleet||$24.5 Billion|
|Eliminate farm subsidies, other agriculture savings||$20 Billion|
|Rescind Unobligated Balances After 36 Months||$20 Billion|
|Eliminate all Congressional Earmarks||$16 Billion|
|Cuts to Health Services||$12.2 Billion|
|Cuts to EPA, Energy and Science Programs||$10.9 Billion|
|Eliminate various Community Programs||$8 Billion|
|Switch to Using Chained CPI||$8 Billion|
|Eliminate Justice Department Grants||$7.8 Billion|
|Eliminate Various Jobs Training Programs||$7.4 Billion|
|Three Year Pay Freeze for all Federal Employees and DoD Civilians||$7 Billion|
|Eliminate Programs in the Arts and Sciences||$6.7 Billion|
|Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act||$6 Billion|
|Cap Increases in VA Spending||$4.5 Billion|
|Cuts to State Department||$4 Billion|
|Eliminate Most DHS Grants to the States||$2.7 Billion|
|Cut National Science Foundation||$1.9 Billion|
|Open ANWR to Leasing||$1.7 Billion|
|Repeal Food Safety & Modernization Act||$1.4 Billion|
|Repeal Dodd-Frank||$2 Billion (CBO 5-Yr Estimate)**|
|Repeal Affordable Care Act||Unknown (larger savings in later years)+|
|Total||$427.1 to 429.1 Billion^|
*Numbers from Rep. Bachmann's office unless otherwise noted.
**Note this may be an error, as CBO's score of Dodd-Frank states the legislation would reduce the deficit by $2.3 billion over 5 years.
+ Note CBO estimates repealing PPACA as a whole would increase the deficit by $230 billion over 10 years.
^Using her numbers.
According to her estimates, Rep. Bachmann has identified a significant amount of savings in the federal budget. Notably, we commend her for supporting cuts in defense and farm subsidies, which many of her Republican colleagues hold as sacrosanct. Defense cuts, as well as entitlements and revenues, must be on the table in these discussions. Bachmann's proposal even goes further than that of the Republican Study Committee, which was released last week.
Hopefully Republicans and Democrats will be able to work together to solve our fiscal problems. Both sides will have to be willing to sacrifice some of their priorities in the best interest of the nation. Both sides should work across the aisle to come up with a viable fiscal solution.