The Republican party has unveiled their “Spending Reduction Act of 2011,” a list of over 100 cuts they plan to make to government in the effort to save a combined total of $2.5 trillion in 10 years.
So what is on the chopping block? Anything that would actually be missed?
Some key points include:
Taking back any stimulus money that has yet to be spent. Got a bridge that was supposed to be replaced, a road that was going to be widened? The Republicans say give us back that money, and give up any jobs that have been created to finish those projects.
Freeze all federal employees and only hire one new worker for every two jobs “cut through attrition.” The Republicans are proposing less jobs, and stagnant wages, which would reduce the amount of money that would then be pumped back into the economy as federal employees are unable to increase their personal spending.
Eliminate Legal Services Corporation, because quality legal representation should only be obtained by the rich.
End public funding of the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment of the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, because there is nothing more wasteful than art or media that isn’t controlled by a few major corporations.
Stop subsidizing family planning, because if you can’t afford birth control you will definitely be able to afford a child.
And the elimination of numerous funds for transportation, energy conservation and combating climate change, because the Republican party has no interest in conserving anything but their own power.
Many of the proposals aren’t just a matter Republicans taking the opportunity to cut projects they don’t like — such as art funding, public broadcasting, public lawyers, and transit, but will actually end up costing money in the long run.
“Slashing the federal workforce by 15 percent would force agencies to contract out the work, costing taxpayers more money in the long run,” American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage said. “Freezing federal pay raises for another five years would demoralize the workforce and make it even harder to attract and retain talented workers.”
Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, called the proposal a “step backward.”
“Many agencies already are struggling with insufficient resources and staffing shortages in the face of expanding workloads and expectations on the part of the American people,” she said. “Even if drastic reductions such as these are ultimately not enacted into law, proposals like these get in the way of vital agency recruitment and retention efforts.”
Too many of these cuts are to cost effective programs that are helping with social stability and increasing the nations (and Americans’) economic prospects and overall security.
For example, there is this proposed cut:
Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.
Yes, let’s kill that horrid DOE system for giving money to states to help weatherize poor people’s homes to make them more energy efficient and reduce their energy costs (and, well, their pollution). Simply put, study and after study of weatherization programs come to the conclusion (based on significant analysis of much data) that these are cost effective programs to help these low(er)-income households. Of course, that $530 million pays for itself many times over in terms of reduced energy costs and reduced external benefits (such as reduced pollution loads reducing health problems). And, among other things, these programs lead to reduced demand on other government services and — potentially — even might foster lower crime rates due to more financially (and otherwise) secure households. Sigh, weatherization ends up reducing demand for fossil-foolish industries’ products (whether heating oil or coal-fired electricity). They are also one of the tools for using taxpayer resources for strengthening the economic position of the weakest in our society.
Joanne Grossi, a regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, disputes the claim that health care reform is too costly.
“It was actually estimated that without health care reform, by the year 2040, a full one-third of our gross domestic product would be going to health care costs.”
Earlier this month, several lawmakers who favor repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including new House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, released a report entitled “ObamaCare: Budget-Busting, Job-Killing Health Care Law.”
Grossi points to the politically neutral Congressional Budget Office report that estimates the new health care reform law will save at least $230 billion over the next 10 years.
“Anyone who believes that repealing this will save the government money, they’re wrong. We really have true, nonpartisan estimates that health care reform is actually going to save us money.”
The GOP is claiming to be about saving money, but those “cuts” are going to cost way more in the end.
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