Senator Pryor asks for Spending Cut Suggestions! Here are a few!(Part 74)

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

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.

On May 11, 2011,  I emailed to this above address and I got this email back from Senator Pryor’s office:

Please note, this is not a monitored email account. Due to the sheer volume of correspondence I receive, I ask that constituents please contact me via my website with any responses or additional concerns. If you would like a specific reply to your message, please visit http://pryor.senate.gov/contact. This system ensures that I will continue to keep Arkansas First by allowing me to better organize the thousands of emails I get from Arkansans each week and ensuring that I have all the information I need to respond to your particular communication in timely manner.  I appreciate you writing. I always welcome your input and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to contact me on any issue of concern to you in the future.

Here are a few more I just emailed to him myself:

GUIDELINE #3: Privatize activities that could be performed better by the private sector.
Over the past two decades, nations across the globe have reaped the benefits of privatization, which empowers the private sector to carry out functions that had been performed by government. In the 1980s, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher saved taxpayers billions of dollars and improved the British economy by privatizing utilities, telecommunications, and airports. More recently, the former Soviet republics and China have seen the promise of privatization. The United States, however, has been uncharacteristically timid in recent years.
There is little economic justification for the government to run businesses that the private sector can run itself. Even when there is a compelling reason for government to regulate or subsidize businesses, it can do so without seizing ownership of them. Government failures are often larger than market failures, and anyone who has dealt with the post office, lived in public housing, or visited a local department of motor vehicles understands how wasteful, inefficient, and unresponsive government can be.
Furthermore, government ownership crowds out private companies and encourages protected entities to take unnecessary risks. After promising profits, government-owned businesses frequently lose billions of dollars, leaving the taxpayers to foot the bill.
Entrenched opposition to privatization, which comes mostly from interest groups representing government monopolies, has been overcome elsewhere by (1) working with government unions and relevant interest groups to design privatization proposals, (2) offering low-cost stock options to current employees, and (3) ensuring a transparent, open bidding process.
Candidates for privatization are numerous.4 Congress should:
  • Sell the remaining Power Marketing Administrations through a stock offering (2004 spending: $155 million, discretionary);5
  • Require that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting fund itself as all other television networks do ($437 million, discretionary);
  • Privatize the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation ($14 million, discretionary);
  • Allow government agencies to accept bids on government printing jobs instead of having to use the Government Printing Office (GPO) ($130 million, discretionary);
  • Shift the National Agricultural Statistics Service to the private sector ($124 million, discretionary);
  • Sell Amtrak through a stock offering ($1,334 million, discretionary);
  • Privatize the next-generation high-speed rail program ($27 million, discretionary);
  • Turn over the foreign market development program to the assisted industries ($24 million, mandatory);
  • Privatize ineffective applied research programs for energy conversation research, fossil fuels, and solar and renewable energy ($1,640 million, discretionary);
  • Sell many of the federal government’s 1,200 civilian aircraft and 380,000 non-tactical, non-postal vehicles;
  • Shift the Energy Information Agency’s duties to the private sector ($78 million, discretionary);
  • Privatize the Architect of the Capitol ($534 million, discretionary); and
  • Privatize-commercialize air traffic control operations and fully fund with user fees.
Government-owned enterprises are not the only candidates for privatization. In 2003, taxpayers were on the hook for the federal government’s $249 billion in outstanding direct loans and $1,184 billion in outstanding guaranteed loans. Government loans typically undercut the financial services industry, which has sufficient resources to provide loans to businesses and
individuals.
Even worse, government often serves as a lender of last resort to organizations that private banks do not consider qualified for loans, and the low-cost nature of government loans encourages recipients to take unnecessary risks with their federal dollars. Consequently, a high percentage of federal loans are in default, and taxpayers were saddled with $17 billion in direct loan write-offs and guaranteed loan terminations in 2003.6
Therefore, Congress should:
  • Begin selling government direct loan programs and create new agency loan guarantees such as those of the Rural Utilities Service, Small Business Administration, Export-Import Bank, and Rural Housing Service.
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