Senator Pryor asks for Spending Cut Suggestions! Here are a few!(Part 102)

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.

I just did. I went to the Senator’s website and sent this below:

“Saving the American Dream: The Heritage Plan to Fix the Debt, Cut Spending, and Restore Prosperity,” Heritage Foundation, May 10, 2011 by  Stuart Butler, Ph.D.,Alison Acosta FraserandWilliam Beach is one of the finest papers I have ever read. Over the next few days I will post portions of this paper, but I will start off with the section on federal spending reform.

Repealing Obamacare.

If fully implemented, Obamacare will add trillions of dollars in long-term government spending to a health care system that is already unaffordable. It also increases federal controls and mandates and will impose heavy costs on states, businesses, and households. As noted earlier, the Heritage plan repeals Obamacare and replaces it with the improved, consumer-centered health care system. While this proposal for maintaining sufficient levels of defense spending assumes that future military personnel will be brought under the broader proposals for health care and retirement reform outlined in this report, it also provides for tailored transition options for current military personnel and retirees. Importantly, reforms in compensation and benefits must maintain effective recruitment and retention of, and honor reasonable commitments to, members of the armed forces.

The war on terrorism has increased defense spending to approximately 5
percent of GDP, yet it remains well below the 9 percent spent during in the
1960s and the 6 percent spent during the 1980s. While the Heritage plan
recognizes that predicting precise funding requirements for overseas contingency operations is impossible, it is reasonable to expect that the phasedown in those efforts will permit reducing defense spending to approximately 4 percent of GDP and maintaining it at that level. Ultimately, of course, defense spending will have to be whatever it takes to protect America and its interests around the globe.

Funding an Adequate Defense. The most important core function of the
federal government is ensuring America’s national security, but it needs to be accomplished as economically and efficiently as possible. The Defense Department will focus on identifying and addressing its significant levels of wasteful spending and initiating significant reforms and efficiencies in logistics and acquisition processes so that those funds can be reprioritized into the most important uses to protect America and our allies by maintaining a strong, modern, and effective military.

Making Public Health Service Spending More Efficient. Public health
service spending has grown 56 percent faster than inflation since 2000. While health research is vital, the Heritage plan eliminates waste and inefficiencies that have accumulated. For example, by consolidating redundant facilities and laboratories, the Heritage plan saves the National Institutes of Health $1 billion annually. States take over the financing and operation of health centers, health professions programs, and the substance abuse block grant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sees savings over $2 billion annually by reducing travel, ending questionable public campaigns, and focusing its role on interstate coordination. Finally, converting Indian Health Service aid into a
premium-support system (where possible) and reforming the Food and Drug Administration save a combined $1 billion annually.

Thus, all Americans will have access to financial aid in attending college,
but it will not be a free ride at the taxpayers’ expense.

However, thanks to a key provision in the Heritage plan’s tax reform, higher education costs are partially defrayed through the simplified and generous tax deduction for higher education tuition. Families whose incomes are too low for them to benefit fully from this tax deduction are eligible for a Pell Grant with a value up to the tax deduction. The direct student loan program is retained with loan limits high enough to guarantee college access but with rates set to ensure that there are no budgetary costs, including the costs associated with deferred repayment until graduation as well as the costs of loan forgiveness programs.

Higher education reforms, including the new deduction for college tuition in the Heritage tax reform, ensure that students receive enough financial
assistance to attend college. Shifting from grants to student loans ensures that most college costs will be financed by the college graduates themselves, who benefit the most from their degrees, and not by other Americans.

Scaling Back K–12 Education Spending and Reforming Higher Education
Spending. Federal spending on K–12 education has grown 192 percent faster than inflation since 2000, yet this sharply increased federal spending and federal micromanagement of school districts has not improved student performance. Under the Heritage plan, total federal K–12 spending is reduced to 2000 levels (adjusted for inflation), in part by eliminating many of the numerous small education programs that Washington uses to micromanage school districts. This will allow states and school districts to manage and meet the needs of their students more effectively.

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