Congratulations to the wave of Republicans who successfully ran on promises to tackle rising government debt and cut the hugely bloated federal budget. On the campaign trail, most candidates were not very specific about how they would cut the budget, but when they come to Washington they will be looking for good reform targets.
The public is concerned that governments are providing excessively generous compensation to their workers. Attention has focused on the high salaries and benefits of federal civilian employees and the often lavish pensions paid to state and local workers.
I blogged about how Canadian government spending cuts since the mid-1990s coincided with strong economic growth.
We’ve had huge federal deficit spending in recent years–$459 billion in FY2008, $1.4 trillion in FY2009, $1.5 trillion in FY2010, and now an estimated $1.4 trillion in FY2011. Despite all the spending, the economy is still sluggish, private investment remains in the tank, and the unemployment rate is stuck at near 10 percent.
I testified to President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform today on Capitol Hill. The Commission is tasked with creating a package of specific budget reforms by December to be considered by the House and Senate.
I have posted a new essay on federal worker pay. The essay gathers together ideas and data from my recent blogs on the topic.
The nation is facing a fiscal emergency. Debt is exploding and federal spending exceeds revenues by more than $1 trillion a year. To fix the problem, policymakers should pursue reforms on two paths.
A wage freeze for federal workers is the vote winner in the House Republican YouCut poll this week. YouCut is designed to gather citizen input online regarding which federal programs to cut.
Yesterday, the Washington Post reviewed the life of Phyllis McClure, who was an advocate for federal education spending in low-income neighborhoods.
House Republicans proposed some small cuts to the federal budget on their new YouCut website last week. I noted that the GOP cuts amounted to just 0.017 percent of the federal budget, and suggested that the conservative party in Congress could do much better. Below I’ve listed 10 terminations that would save about $380 billion a year, which is more than 10 percent of total federal spending.