Legislative Director, MASSPIRG
Legislative Director, MASSPIRG
WASHINGTON – As the Congressional “Super Committee” begins its search for $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, a new study released today by MASSPIRG’s national affiliate, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) provides the panel with a great place to start: more than $1 trillion of spending cuts with appeal from across the political spectrum.
While the two groups have widely divergent views on many tax and fiscal issues, they have joined forces to identify federal programs that both Republican and Democratic lawmakers should recognize as wasteful and inefficient uses of taxpayer dollars.
The U.S. PIRG and NTU study identifies 54 specific cuts in federal spending, including:
• $214.9 billion in savings from eliminating wasteful subsidies to agribusiness and other corporations.
• $444.8 billion in savings from ending low-priority or unnecessary military programs
• $221.6 billion in savings from improvements to program execution and government operations.
• $132.1 in savings from reforms to major entitlement programs
Co-author Andrew Moylan, Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Taxpayers Union, added, “Though it gets drowned out by the din of Washington’s partisan rancor, there is actually a large amount of agreement between watchdog groups both right and left about where the waste is in the budget. We hope this report can aid the Super Committee in the difficult task of repairing the federal balance sheet by giving them suggestions with widespread support.”
“In an effort to address the deficit, we too often forget to differentiate between the good and the bad; between public priorities and special interest handouts,” said co-author Dan Smith, U.S. PIRG Tax and Budget Associate. “These recommendations correct years of insider lobbying that has benefited narrow interests allowing room either for investment in valued programs or deficit reduction.”
“The fact that our two groups who have rarely worked the same side of an issue can identify and agree on over $1 trillion of spending cuts shows that while tough, responsible deficit reduction can and must be done to protect both current and future taxpayers,” said Deirdre Cummings, Legislative Director, MASSPIRG.
The report updates and builds on recommendations developed last year for the President’s fiscal commission. The fiscal commission adopted 20 of 30 recommendations in the bipartisan majority report.
“We plan to send our findings to Senator John Kerry and the other members of the Super Committee which has until Thanksgiving to propose $1.2-$1.5 trillion in deficit reduction for a vote in the full Congress,” concluded Cummings.
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MASSPIRG is a statewide, member supported non partisan and non-profit public interest advocacy organization
U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization.The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) is America’s independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers.