A recent report published by the Heritage Foundation offers 106 ways for Congress to trim the federal budget and begin the process of balancing it while also reducing the size and scope of the federal government.
For example, the report offers 3 ways that the amount of money the federal goverment spends on transportation can be cut without negatively impacting transportation. Trimming these 3 excesses would save the nation's taxpayers nearly $250B over 10 years:
- The federal gas tax is supposed to fuel the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). However, Congress keeps transferring additional $$$s into HTF. Since 2008, those additional $$$s have totaled $62B because HTF spending always outpaces revenues. Why? 25% of HTF spending goes to nature paths, landscaping, and bus systems. Spending only its revenue over the next 10 years would save taxpayers $179B.
- In 1971, Congress created Amtrak. In the ensuing 4+ decades, Amtrak has received more than $66B in taxpayers' $$$s. Labor costs account for 50% of Amtrak's operating costs. Why? Bad labor agreements providing Amtrak employess unduly high wages and benefits. Gutting Amtrak's federal subsidies and making it run like the business it is would save the nation's taxpayers $49B over 10 years.
- In 1991, Congress created the New Starts Transit Program (NSTP) that provides federal grants to agencies for building new transit systems. But, grant "eligibility" includes programs like traffic congestion relief and environmental benefits not programs that increase operating efficiencies. Gutting NSTP would save the nation's taxpayers $21B over 10 years.
The example of HTF provides an object lesson for Capitol Hill conservatives: Start calling government spending a "savings," in much the same way liberals call an increase in federal spending a "cut."
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Heritage Foundation report, click on the following link:
"The Budget Book: 106 Ways to Reduce the Size and Scope of Government."