Rand Paul Says Over $500 Billion Can Be Hacked from the Budget
NEWLY ELECTED SEN. RAND PAUL (R-Ky.) introduced on Jan. 25 the Cut Federal Spending Act, which jettisons a whopping $500 billion out of the federal government’s budget for fiscal year 2011. That amounts to an unprecedented 25 percent of Washington’s total spending for the year.
In the Feb. 7 issue, AFP editors detailed a proposal by the Republican Study Committee, which proposed dumping some $100 billion from federal appropriations. AFP published the list of programs that the conservative caucus wanted to terminate. But even that proposal pales in comparison to Paul’s landmark measure. In announcing his new bill, Paul said: “The solution to the government’s fiscal crisis needs to begin by cutting spending at the heart of the problem—right here, on Capitol Hill.”
In a nutshell, Paul plans on returning government spending to 2008 levels, cutting almost all federal programs down to the bone.
He wants to completely defund the Government Printing Office, which will save taxpayers billions. He is also looking to significantly cut the budgets of the federal judiciary ($2.4 billion), the Environmental Protection Agency ($3.2 billion) and departments such as Agriculture ($42 billion), Commerce ($5.3 billion), Energy ($27 billion), Education ($16 billion), Health and Human Services ($26.5 billion), Interior ($11 billion), Labor ($2.8 billion), State ($20 billion), Transportation ($43 billion) and Housing and Urban Development, among other things.
Paul also wants to scale back U.S. war spending by $70 billion and cut Homeland Security by $25 billion. Finally, he calls for collecting unpaid taxes from federal employees ($3 billion), freezing federal workers’ pay ($2 billion), selling off unused federal property ($19 billion) and repealing the banker bailout known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program ($4.5 billion).
“By removing programs that are beyond the constitutional role of the federal government, such as education and housing, we are cutting nearly 40 percent of our projected deficit and removing the big-government bureaucrats who stand in the way of efficiency in our federal government,” he said.
Paul also said he wants to cut all foreign aid. CNN host and former AIPAC staffer Wolf Blitzer asked if that included Israel. Paul replied, “When you send foreign aid, you actually [send] quite a bit to Israel’s enemies. Islamic nations around Israel get quite a bit of foreign aid, too,” said Paul. “I don’t [support] funding both sides of the arms race, particularly when we have to borrow the money from China to send it to someone else. We just can’t do it anymore.”
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(Issue # 7, February 14, 2011)