Wasteful Programs that Congress Could Cut
US Congressmen Ask Colleagues to Cut War Waste
How would you cut the US budget? Follow the link at the end. We trim, blend, and append five 2010 articles on cutting wasteful US spending from: (1) Weekly Wastebasket, Volume XV No. 44: Nov 5, by Taxpayers for Common Sense; (2) BBC, Nov 14, by Mark Doyle; (3) TruthOut, Nov 5, by John Grant a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, a journalist-run online newspaper; (4) Reuters, Nov 15, by Andrea Shalal-Esa; and (5) New York Times, Nov 13.
by TCS, by M. Doyle, by J. Grant, by A. Shalal-Esa, and by the New York Times
Bridge the Partisan Budget Divide
If we are going to get our fiscal house in order we need to put everything on the table. That means taking a hard look at entitlements, defense, revenue, domestic spending -- all of it.
Here are some wasteful programs ripe for reform or cutting:
* Commodity subsidies in the Farm Bill; more than $25 billion. The Market Access Program, which helps corporations like McDonalds and Nabisco reach "new markets"; $1 billion over five year.
* The Build America Bonds Program; $9 billion. New economically unnecessary locks on the Upper Mississippi; more than $2 billion.
* Tax expenditures, the breaks in the tax code; more than a trillion dollars every year.
JJS: People around the world might help the US cuts its waste.
Campaigners urge US and Europe to cut cotton subsidies
Campaigners working with West African farmers are calling on Europe and the United States to cut the subsidies they pay to their cotton farmers.
The money that rich countries use to back their farmers -- more than $1bn a year -- is artificially boosting world supply, and reducing the prices that poorer West African producers can earn.
Removing US cotton subsidies alone could boost West African cotton farmers' income by up to 10%.
Poor people who could actually produce cotton very cheaply are punished by richer people who produce it at higher cost.
JJS: The US spends most of its money on war. Halting its wars of aggression is the only way the US can pay off its debt -- and survive as a world power.
Let’s Really Cut the Budget
Courage is too often translated into military bravery and the capacity to do violence, and humility is seen as what the Tea Party has just done to the Democrats, which is humiliation.
Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Ron Paul are calling for a 25% cut in the Pentagon budget, which amounts to 59% of the budget. Of note, Paul’s son Rand, like his father a libertarian Republican, just won a Senate seat from Kentucky.
The post-9/11 terror that shook America drives our out-of-control military expenditures. While we spend more of our taxes on military violence, the rest of the world doesn’t:
As we see ourselves managing the Chinese rise to first-world economic power, the Chinese, we are told, see themselves as equally managing US decline.
China owns over $800 billion of our debt, which totals over $4 trillion. This year, China has overtaken the United States with the world’s fastest computer, a machine that has lurched way ahead of the US in speed. China is investing in itself with an eye to the future.
Nayan Chanda, an Indian business observer, says, “The US seems sadly unprepared to take advantage of the revolution it has spawned. The country’s worn-out infrastructure, failing education system, and lack of political consensus have prevented it from riding a new wave to prosperity.”
In Brazil, many rose from poverty into a growing lower middle class. Along with major business efforts, this trend is expected to increase.
Meanwhile, the US undermines its middle class economic engine by protecting the interests of the very rich.
JJS: Along with a leftist and libertarian Congressmen there’s also a conservative Senator willing to confront the sacred cow of war.
Billions can be saved in military budget: McCain
Senator John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said billions of dollars could be saved from the defense budget by cutting lawmakers' pet projects, known as earmarks, and fixing troubled arms programs.
McCain is confident Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be able to cut $100 billion from the military budget over the next five years.
He cited several big arms programs that were over budget and behind schedule, saying they presented further opportunities to save money.
The Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program, now projected to cost $382 billion, was one example, saying it was "unacceptable".
McCain said, "I'm not sure that we could say that everything in defense is sacrosanct while the rest of these cuts in education and social programs, etcetera, are taking place."
Two leaders of a US presidential commission released a plan last week that would cut the overall military budget by $100 billion by 2015, using the savings to reduce the US budget deficit instead of reinvesting the money to pay for troops and weapons programs as Gates has planned.
JJS: If conventional politicians are finally willing to cut that little bit, how much could really be cut by open-minded people?
You Fix the Budget
You’re in charge of US finances. When you have closed the budget gaps for both 2015 and 2030, you are done. Then share your plan online. click here
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
Why Pay the Privileged our Public Money?
Major paper fingers state favors for insiders
Major daily US paper pushes cutting war spending
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