Senator Pryor asks for Spending Cut Suggestions! Here are a few!(Part 35)

 

Senator Mark Pryor wants our ideas on how to cut federal spending. Take a look at this video clip below:

Milton Friedman nails the problem in this short video clip. No one wants their program cut but just the other guy’s.

Senator Pryor has asked us to send our ideas to him at cutspending@pryor.senate.gov and I have done so in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Here are a few more I just emailed to him myself at 1:15pm CST on May 2, 2011.

Senator Rand Paul on Feb 7, 2011 wrote the article “A Modest $500 Billion Proposal: My spending cuts would keep 85% of government funding and not touch Social Security,” Wall Street Journal and he observed:

Last month I introduced legislation to do just that. And though it seems extreme to some—containing over $500 billion in spending cuts enacted over one year—it is a necessary first step toward ending our fiscal crisis.

My proposal would first roll back almost all federal spending to 2008 levels, then initiate reductions at various levels nearly across the board. Cuts to the Departments of Agriculture and Transportation would create over $42 billion in savings each, while cuts to the Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development would save about $50 billion each. Removing education from the federal government’s jurisdiction would create almost $80 billion in savings alone. Add to that my proposed reductions in international aid, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and other federal agencies, and we arrive at over $500 billion.

Here are some of his specific suggestions:

Agriculture

 

Agency/Program Funding Level Savings % Decrease

Agriculture $103.206 B $42.542 B 30%

The Department of Agriculture is one of the largest agencies of the federal government. With fewer than 1 million farmers in the United States, the USDA employs over 110,000 employees, or roughly one federal employee for every nine farmers. Although farm and crop subsidies cost tens of billions of dollars each year, the largest USDA program continues to be funding for food stamps.

The program was originally created as a temporary program from 1939 to 1943, but became permanent in 1964 under President Lyndon Johnson. After the program swelled to more than 15 million recipients in 1974, and continued to increase in scope with the expanded benefits provided by Congress in 1993, Congress and the President finally decided to address the food stamp program through welfare reform in 1996. Food stamps were ultimately turned into a block grant program, which decreased the number of food stamp recipients, and helped lower costs. It wasn’t until 2002, under the direction of both a Republican President and Congress that the food  stamp program was once again expanded.

In 2001, the food stamp program cost taxpayers $18 billion, but has since increased by more than 289 percent (FY2010 cost of $70 billion), and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that this entitlement program will cost nearly $700 billion over the next 10 years.

While many automatic spending entitlement programs like food stamps will need to once again be re-evaluated for reform, including eliminating the more than $1 billion in annual erroneous and fraudulent food stamp payments, the proposal only recommends taking the food stamp program back to FY2008 levels

. This level of funding still  represents a 122 percent increase over the 2000 levels. In addition, the proposal would take farm and crop  subsidies back to 2008 levels as well.

Additional

Eligibility is based on income and assets, with the gross income cutoff set at 130 percent of the poverty level

(28,665 for a family of four). The maximum monthly benefit in 2009 for a household of four was $668 –

 

$8,016 per year.

 

 

 

According to the CDC, obesity rates are actually higher for adults and children who are below the poverty level or on food stamps. Because individuals tend to buy cheap, high calorie processed foods, the food stamp subsidy program continues to support an out-dated model of health standards and balanced meals.

Food stamps are not conditioned on work status and contribute to long-term dependence on the federal  government.

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