Senator Pryor asks for Spending Cut Suggestions! Here are a few!(Part 159)

Senator Pryor asks for Spending Cut Suggestions! Here are a few!(Part 159)

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 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 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:

Below is an excellent plan to balance the budget through spending cuts from Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute written in April of 2011. Here is the second part.

A Plan to Cut Spending and Balance the Federal Budget

by Chris Edwards, Cato Institute

Reducing Spending over 10 Years
Spending Cut Details
Subsidies to Individuals and Businesses
Aid to State and Local Governments
Military Expenses
Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security

Spending Cut Details

Table 1 lists the proposed annual cuts for the balanced budget plan. By 2021, these include $150 billion in defense cuts and $490 billion in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the 2010 health care law. The table also includes other discretionary and entitlement cuts valued at $445 billion in 2011. With the assumed revenues, all these spending cuts would be saving the government $260 billion in annual interest costs by 2021.7 All in all, total spending in 2021 under this plan would be about $1.4 trillion lower than under either the CBO baseline or the president’s budget.

As a technical note, most of the figures in Table 1 are outlays for fiscal 2011 from President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget.8 These cuts are expressed in 2011 dollars, but I’ve assumed that the value of these cuts would grow over time at the same rate as discretionary spending in the CBO baseline. The cuts in Table 1 marked with an asterisk are expressed in 2021 dollars and are generally based on CBO estimates.

The reforms listed in the table are deeper than the “duplication” and “waste” items often mentioned by federal policymakers, such as earmarks. The reality is that the nation faces a fiscal emergency, and we need to cut hundreds of billions of dollars of “meat” from federal departments, not just the obvious “fat.” If the activities to be cut are useful to society, then state governments or private groups should fund them, and those entities would probably be more efficient at doing so.

The cuts in Table 1 are illustrative of how to begin getting the federal budget under control. Further reforms are needed in addition to these cuts, particularly structural changes to Medicare. But the important thing is to start cutting right away because the longer we wait, the deeper the pile of debt we will have to dig out from.

Table 1 includes cuts to individual and business subsidies, cuts to state aid, cuts to military expenses, cuts to the growth in entitlement programs, and privatization of federal activities. The sections following the table discuss these various types of cuts, and further analysis of the cuts is available at

Table 1
Proposed Federal Budget Cuts
Agency and Activity   Annual Savings
$ billion
Department of Agriculture    
  End farm subsidies   29.5
  Cut food subsidies by 50 percent   52.7
  End rural subsidies   4.2
  Total cuts   86.4
Department of Commerce    
  End telecom subsidies   2.3
  End economic development subsidies   0.6
  Total cuts   2.9
Department of Defense    
  Enact Preble/Friedman reforms**   150.0
Department of Education    
  End K-12 education subsidies   52.7
  End student aid and all other programs   33.1
  Total cuts (terminate the department)   85.8
Department of Energy    
  End subsidies for energy efficiency   10.2
  End subsidies for vehicle technologies   5.2
  End the technology loan program   1.2
  End electricity research subsidies   2.0
  End fossil energy research   1.1
  Privatize the power marketing administrations   0.5
  End nuclear energy subsidies   0.6
  Total cuts   20.8
Department of Health and Human Services    
  Block grant Medicaid and freeze spending**   226.0
  Repeal 2010 health care law**   87.0
  Increase Medicare premiums**   39.8
  Cut non-Medicaid state/local grants by 50%   37.7
  Cut Medicare payment error rate by 50%   28.6
  Increase Medicare deductibles**   12.6
  Tort reform   10.0
  Total cuts   441.7
Department of Housing and Urban Development    
  End rental assistance   28.6
  End community development subsidies   15.0
  End public housing subsidies   8.9
  End housing finance and all other programs   8.3
  Total cuts (terminate the department)   60.8
Department of Justice    
  End state and local grants   5.0
Department of Labor    
  End employment and training services   4.8
  End Job Corps   1.7
  End Community Service for Seniors   0.8
  End trade adjustment assistance   1.3
  Total cuts   8.6
Social Security    
  Price index initial benefits**   41.1
  Raise the normal retirement age**   31.4
  Cut Social Security disability program by 10%   13.2
  Total cuts   85.7
Department of Transportation    
  End urban transit grants (federal fund savings)   5.8
  Privatize air traffic control (federal fund savings)   5.8
  Privatize Amtrak and end rail subsidies   2.9
  Total cuts   14.5
Department of the Treasury    
  Cut earned income tax credit by 50%   22.5
  End refundable part of child tax credit   22.9
  Total cuts   45.4
Other Savings    
  Cut federal civilian compensation costs 10%   29.6
  Cut foreign development aid by 50%   5.2
  Cut NASA spending by 50%   9.8
  Privatize the Corps of Engineers (Civil Works)   10.6
  Repeal Davis-Bacon labor rules   9.0
  End EPA state and local grants   6.5
  End foreign military financing   5.4
  End subsidies for the Corp. for Nat. Comm. Srv.   0.6
  End subsidies to the Corp. for Public Broadcasting   0.5
  End the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp.   0.2
  Total cuts   77.4
Grand total annual spending cuts   $1,084.9
Note: Data items are outlays for fiscal 2011, but items with ** refer to the value of savings in 2021.


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