Citizens Against Government Waste recently announced that, by strategically cutting spending in key places, the federal government could balance the budget in just 3 short years. Their report, entitled “Prime Cuts 2017”, highlights 607 possible ways in which the government could save the taxpayers $336.2 billion in the first year alone.
In their report, Citizens Against Government Waste notes that, “The national debt nearly doubled under former President Obama and is poised to exceed $20 trillion before the end of 2017 … Wasteful government spending can be cut and the nation can start on a path toward fiscal sanity.”
The group keeps a keen eye out on the wasteful spending in all the agencies of federal government including the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the Labor Department, the Treasury, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Justice Department, and the Department of Commerce and then evaluates the agencies’ spending habits to find exactly where extra spending could have been avoided.
According to the group, if Congress wanted to reduce the improper spending at the Department of Health and Human Sciences (HHS), all they would have to do is reduce improper and fraudulent Medicare payments by 50% in five years and the department could be saving the taxpayers over $4.1 billion a year.
The report goes on to saying, “Medicare is plagued with the highest reported amount of improper payments of any federal program … Because of its chronic vulnerability to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, the [Government Accountability Office] has for 20 years designated the Medicare program as ‘high risk.’”
The group also recommends that the EPA end their Energy Star program. This is a government program that identifies energy efficient products, but does little else – this is easily a role the private secotr could fill. Stopping the program could help save taxpayers $52 million in the first year. As the report stated, “A March 2010 GAO report found that the ENERGY STAR program is vulnerable to fraud and abuse … The GAO submitted 20 phony products for certification, 15 of which were cleared, including a gas-powered alarm clock.”
Similarly, at the Department of Transportation, Congress could eliminate federal subsidies for Amtrak to save $1.4 billion, and an incredible $5.9 billion over the next five years.
“By following the blueprint provided by Citizens Against Government Waste Prime Cuts 2017, wasteful government spending would be dramatically cut, and the U.S. would achieve a balanced budget within President Trump’s first term,” said Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste. “The only way to put the nation on a path toward fiscal sanity is for leaders to make bold decisions to reduce waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.”