The U.S. Postal service has announced a net loss of $8.5 billion for fiscal 2010. Since 2006, the USPS has lost $20 billion, and the organization is close to maxing out its $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. Although the USPS has achieved some cost savings, they haven’t been enough to overcome a large drop in revenue due to the recession and the greater use of electronic alternatives by the public.
The Obama fiscal commission’s draft report suggested that federal spending be reduced from 25.1% of GDP today to 22% by 2020, and lower after that. That’s a reasonable goal for a centrist kind of commission, but let’s remember that spending was just 18.2% in President Clinton’s last two fiscal years, 2000 and 2001.
The co-chairs of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released a draft report yesterday on how to reduce federal budget deficits.
Self-anointed elites have been relentless in prodding government planners to apply their enlightened solutions for the purported benefit of the ignorant masses. As a result, the federal government has become a Super Nanny monitoring and guiding the intimate activities of the nation’s 300 million inhabitants. However, the government is not altruistic and does not have the solutions for how people should live their lives.
Following last week’s electoral victory, the House Republican leadership has been talking up its pre-election pledge to return federal spending to 2008 levels. As I’ve previously discussed, the Republicans are only talking about non-security, discretionary spending. This category of spending represents a relatively small portion of the overall federal budget, and would only shave about $100 billion off of what the president wants to spend.
In a story titled, “Federal government upping pay, seniority to lure skilled workers from private sector,” the Washington Business Journal notes:
A Washington Post editorial today discusses the National Academy of Sciences “Fiscal Future” study. The NAS report modeled four possible tax and spending paths for the nation over the next 70 years. I was one of the NAS report’s co-authors.
The other day I mentioned that numerous groups have released spending cut proposals that will be useful for the GOP in figuring out where to cut spending. Another source for the new House Republican majority to utilize is a plan that was released in May by their own members in the conservative House Republican Study Committee.
In coming months, new Republican members of Congress will be looking for ways to cut the budget deficit and also to increase economic growth. One way to do both is to privatize government assets, such as the U.S. Postal Service, Amtrak, and the air traffic control system.