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.
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.
Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson provides a blistering critique of the Obama administration’s plan for a national system of high-speed rail. Samuelson dismisses HSR as “pork-barrel” and “a perfect example of wasteful spending masquerading as a respectable social cause.”
For those of us who recognize that federal k-12 education spending has been a costly failure, it’s been great to hear some tea party candidates call for the abolition of the U.S. Department of Education.
The office of Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has released an appropriately timed report on federal subsidies that have gone to the deceased. From the introduction: