A Death Trap, A Suicide Rap

This list of 100 programs the Republican Study Commission wants to cut to balance the budget is a political death sentence for the Republican party, since it cuts a number of popular and necessary programs.

To pick on just one, consider “Essential Air Service”, a subsidy that allows rural areas to have a couple of commuter flights in airports where airlines would otherwise pull out. When a town that’s 200 miles from the next nearest airport loses air service, saying “it saved $150 million” is not going to get the Republican who voted for this bill re-elected.

Even so, most of the named cuts are mice nuts compared to where they think they’ll get the real savings. For example, it only takes the removal of the $150 million subsidy to DC’s mass transit to shut the place down, but I have no doubt that once they cut that, the federal government will “save” $150 million in the very short term. I can’t say the same for cuts like:

  • Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.
  • Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings.
  • Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.

These reek of ideological bullshit and fiscal stupidity. Yes, let’s dump as much federal property as possible in a depressed real-estate market – we’ll surely get $15 billion selling low. And I’d like to see the fine print on the other two.

But my nitpicking is obscuring the big picture. The real savings from the plan is from a rollback of discretionary federal spending to 2006 levels and a freeze through 2021. I’d love to see John Boehner sell ten years without pork-touting press releases to his caucus.






70 replies
  1. 1
    Ija says:

    Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings

    I bet this is the thing they are most excited about. That and

    Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings

  2. 2
    RSA says:

    Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.

    Wow, the Grand Canyon is really undervalued.

  3. 3
    efroh says:

    Love your posts, mistermix. Seriously, they’re both informative and insightful. Along with DougJ and JC, your posts are among the reasons I stop by every morning (and usually later in the day if I have time). Keep up the great work. And thanks.

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    @Ija:

    I bet this is the thing they are most excited about.

    Safe bet. These fuckers are mad cartoon caricatures right now, deluded into thinking the voters handed them a mission from gawd to eliminate progressive liberalism, in general, from the governing matrix of this country, and HCR, in particular.

    When in fact, they were elected in 2010, by a bunch of xenophobes and confused seniors, and temp economic anxiety, in tandem with a normal dem voting pattern for a mid term. It is a recipe for disaster, the average American doesn’t really have a clue about.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    Let’s see some debate on these brilliant ideas in the House. I’ll bring the popcorn.

  6. 6
    thirdeblue says:

    Ok fine. But what are they going to cut to pay for their next round of tax cuts?

  7. 7
    mistermix says:

    @efroh: You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

  8. 8
    General Stuck says:

    But what are they going to cut to pay for their next round of tax cuts?

    LHEAP. Paid for by freezing dead beat poor folks who take up space and oxygen, and much needed funding for the rich.

  9. 9
    matoko_chan says:

    2021?
    Interestingly 2021 is the year the children of the 2008 event start aging into the electorate.
    the 2008 event refers to the first year non-hispanic cauc became a minority in american children under five. as non-hispanic cauc has been a minority in children under five every year since…..in 2021 those children start to turn 18.
    and the demographic timer goes tick…..tick……tick….

  10. 10
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    Interesting… I don’t see any corporate welfare cuts or cuts to agriculture subsidies, though there seems to be a fair amount of fraud in those programs.

  11. 11
    MikeJ says:

    OT, but if any chrome users wish to test drive the pie filter designed for the new layout, it’s at the link my name points to.

    Includes pie, white on black REDACTED, disemvowell, and smallerize modes.

  12. 12
    Ija says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Maybe I am being naive and delusional and severely underestimating the power of the white nativists movement. But I think at some point, once all the hysteria about Mexican peasants taking over the country has died out, non-black Hispanics will gradually be counted in the white column, the same way Italian, Spanish, Irish immigrants over time are accepted as “white”. The majority minority country thing might never come to fruition as the definition of whiteness is expanded over time. Maybe the white nativists would at some point even decide that it would be in their own best interest for the definition of whiteness to be expanded. They still get to belong to the majority group, and they will still have black people and Native Americans (and Asian-Americans depending on how they are seen in the whiteness scale at that point) to kick around. Much better than life as a minority group.

  13. 13
    jwb says:

    @General Stuck: They are experimenting with these sorts of draconian cuts in Texas, and early indication is that they will in fact go through with them and that backbenchers still haven’t grasped what they signed on for, as some seemed very confused by the fact that programs that affect their districts were being cut. What’s not clear is how the voters will respond.

  14. 14
    Jeff Spender says:

    This is spectacular. No, seriously. It confirms that everything I learned about responsibility and government, not to mention reasonable adults, when I was a child was complete and utter bullshit.

    That’s a relief. For a minute there, I thought I was about to be blindsided by an obligation to be a productive member of society and all that jazz.

    Republicans shine such bright examples of hypocrisy and thoughtlessness. It’s actually rather inspiring.

  15. 15
    Brad Hanon says:

    It’s a great post and an informative graph, but I’m baffled by one aspect. mistermix appears to contend that, when they are directly and personally fucked over by Republican policies, small-town voters will connect these policies with the Republican legislators responsible for them, and vote accordingly.

    I’m just wondering what that assumption is based on, since all available data suggests otherwise.

  16. 16
    Warren Terra says:

    These reek of ideological bullshit and fiscal stupidity. Yes, let’s dump as much federal property as possible in a depressed real-estate market – we’ll surely get $15 billion selling low. And I’d like to see the fine print on the other two.

    Remember the last time the Rs took over and wanted to convince folks they were the brilliant budget cutters, so Gingrich sold off a whole bunch of the federal oil reserve – at $15/barrel?

  17. 17
    matoko_chan says:

    @Ija: doubt it.
    racism is so deeply ingrained in the substrate of the GOP they cannot turn it off.
    Look at arizona.
    and what made Breitbart so angry?
    they know they need the blacks and the browns, but having exploited racism to win for the last 50 years, they simply cannot turn it off at this point… its embedded in their base..
    the bigger problem for them is that youth wont vote for percieved racists…racism is uncool.
    a tribe without reps is doomed.

  18. 18
    matoko_chan says:

    @Warren Terra:

    These reek of ideological bullshit and fiscal stupidity.

    but this is all they have left.
    Conservative phailosophy is an empty purse.
    that is why you see EDK and Douchebag fapping over markets.
    all their memes are fail memes at this point.

  19. 19
    SP says:

    Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees.

    Nice that they are singling out federal employees for $1B but not rich people who offshore their accounts for > $300B (2007 estimate was a $345 billion tax gap.)

  20. 20
    Ellie says:

    Yeah, I’m sure the bulk of tax scofflaws fall in the ranks of the federal workforce. As a federal worker, I’m happy to pay my taxes, but how about we require payment of all unpaid taxes?

  21. 21
    mistermix says:

    @Brad Hanon: Republicans win in smaller states by a combination of anti-big-government rhetoric and pork barrel populism. You don’t see much ideologically-driven opposition to, e.g., the Farm Bill. And Republicans support subsidies to rural airports and hospitals. If they sacrificed that for ideology, they’d be in some trouble.

  22. 22
    TR says:

    Well, this is weird. Check out the Weekly Standard article linked in this post.

    The first words of the first paragraph have a hyperlink that seems like it was meant to go to another Weekly Standard article that reports the RSC plan to cut non-discretionary spending.

    But if you click on the link, it goes directly here — the Politifact fact-checking article that lambasts Cantor and the Republicans for insisting the Affordable Care Act is a “job-killing” piece of legislation. It labels those claims as patently “false” and provides a great deal of pushback based on, you know, facts and stuff.

    So what happened?

    Did someone at the Weekly Standard fuck up? Given their record of incompetence, it’s plausible.

    Or did someone hack their site and redirect the link to something that demonstrably proves Republicans are talking out of their asses?

    Not sure which would be funnier.

  23. 23
    TR says:

    @Brad Hanon:

    Yeah, I had the same reaction.

    First, even if all Republicans vote to kill the airline subsidy, I’m not sure most voters who would otherwise support Republicans would be clued in enough to hold them responsible.

    Second, a more likely scenario is that the representatives of the 50 or so communities that would have their services axed would vote against the bill and be able to skate away.

    Or they could vote to reduce funding by 80% and give each of them the chance to say to their constituents, “I was told the cuts would land elsewhere, but some government bureaucrat screwed us over,” etc. etc.

  24. 24
    Punchy says:

    saying “it saved $150 million” is not going to get the Republican who voted for this bill re-elected.

    You clearly dont understand rural area politics. Short of a Repub Rep r#ping a child on live TV with clowns and booze in the picture, that Rep will be re-elected. Cuz of gays and guns, ya know. And the Democrats were the responsible party for the airport shutdown, b/c Rush told them so.

  25. 25
    cmorenc says:

    As long as e.g. CNN chooses to focus on the unfortunate wording of the response of an obscure democratic congressman from Tennessee (named Cohen) who compared the big lies of the GOP on health care to the propaganda of Nazi Joseph Goebbels, rather than, well…all the big factual lies the GOP has been aggressively repeating about HCR…

    Don’t count of the GOP’s actions to spell eventual doom and defeat with the electorate so long as the MSM is so feckless about accurately explaining real facts, as opposed to he said, she said trivial controversies.

  26. 26
    Svensker says:

    I like how they’re cutting aid to Egypt, showing their deep understanding of our policies in the Middle East.

  27. 27
    morzer says:

    @MikeJ:

    Superbly done, sir. A disemvowelled Matoko is a much more lucid Matoko. The Chrome version works beautifully.

  28. 28
    matoko_chan says:

    @Svensker: there is no point in giving aid to Mubarek. the Muslim Brotherhood will be the majority party when he kicks.
    and they fucking hate America.
    when muslims are democratically empowered to vote they vote for islamic democracy– see Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, etc.
    we threw taxpayer money away supporting a quasi-secular strongman dictator that just made the egyptian people hate us more.
    just like the Shah, Saddam, Musharraf, etc. etc.
    dumbass Big White Christian Capitalist Bwana….never learns.
    proselytization doesnt work in +95% muslim nations.
    even proselytization with guns.
    :)

  29. 29
    Ija says:

    @Punchy:

    Short of a Repub Rep r#ping a child on live TV with clowns and booze in the picture, that Rep will be re-elected.

    Probably not even then. I mean, we still have to check the countertop in the child’s house first. Plus, Ross Douthat said that child rape is caused by permissive sexual culture, which, guess what, is promoted by Democrats. So, it’s the fault of Democrats anyway.

  30. 30
    burnspbesq says:

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the equals sign …

    The CEO of Procter & Gamble, testifying before the House Ways & Means committee on behalf of the Business Roundtable, urged the House not to require that corporate tax reform be revenue-neutral.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....lenews_wsj

  31. 31
    Rosalita says:

    …We gotta get out while we’re young
    ‘Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run…

    sorry, saw the post title and had to do it. Brruuuuuce!

  32. 32
    Cermet says:

    Please-anyone here who really believes that the top thugs think any of this isn’t total bullshit is as dumb as nails. These monsters are simply depending on the rats not giving in and no real cuts are made. Then in 2012 they scream tax and spend rats are driving up the deficit and the stupid beyond the pale camp followers fall into line, vote for more thug power and these fuckers win. No responsibilities, only power so they can continue to suck on the gov tits and wallow in the pig shit money corps and the other pig elite send their way. We are fucked.

  33. 33
    Scuffletuffle says:

    How much could we save if we eliminate congressional salaries, benefits and perks. Surely all these people would be happy to work for free toward the public good…

  34. 34
    SFAW says:

    sorry, saw the post title and had to do it.

    While you were jumping a little lighter, no doubt.

  35. 35
    hilzoy says:

    Just to draw attention to a couple of specific points from the GOP proposal:

    (a) “Eliminate federal control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” (30 billion). Here, the devil is in the details. But: as I understand it, basically *all* mortgage activity is now going through Fannie and Freddie. It is completely unclear what would happen to mortgages, and thus to the housing market, if Fannie and Freddie were fully privatized. I’m basically in favor of either making them fully public or privatizing them, at some point. (Complicated; depends on details of proposal, etc.) But now???

    (b) Eliminating the Hope VI program. Hope VI is a really successful program for dealing with really really awful public housing projects. (Turns them into mixed income developments; incorporates a bunch of really sensible ideas about how to make the resulting communities work; has done really great work.) Eliminating it would be a tragedy.

    (c) “Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion.” Hmm, I thought: I don’t recognize the name “community development fund”. What is this? Google didn’t help. However, the amount supposedly saved is exactly the amount budgeted this year for Community Development Block Grants. CDBG money is basically used for local community development, infrastructure, etc. A lot of municipalities rely on it.

  36. 36
    Bulworth says:

    These reek of ideological bullshit and fiscal stupidity.

    Yes. Also, too.

  37. 37
    Kirbster says:

    I’m so bummed out that I won’t be able to afford a 5 acre “ranchette” parcel in Yosemite Valley or a luxury condo overlooking the south rim of the Grand Canyon even with depressed real estate prices. Sucks to not be part of the 1% club when these opportunities come around..

  38. 38
    THE says:

    @matoko_chan:
    Perhaps strangely, I agree with you that there is no point interfering in Egypt or Tunisia. But my reasons are different to yours.

    The problem is the economic crisis is upon us.

    Both Egypt and Tunisia are heavily dependent on trade with the EU; and the Europeans have their hands full trying to save their own periphery, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Latvia. The list is endless.

    Any Nth African nation that doesn’t have oil is going to have to fend for itself, I suspect, if things continue to melt down.

  39. 39
    Bulworth says:

    it only takes the removal of the $150 million subsidy to DC’s mass transit to shut the place down,

    Yeah but then since gov employees (of which I am one)couldn’t get to their jobs they would end up cutting gov. they might also hurt a few other people and some businesses, but hey, that’s what study groups are for.

  40. 40
    Bulworth says:

    The real savings from the plan is from a rollback of discretionary federal spending to 2006 levels and a freeze through 2021

    This would go a long ways towards enabling the GOP to accomplish its goal: demolishing the U.S. government and economy it embarked on in 2000. How the gop still thinks such a demolished government and economy could conquer the world is unclear.

  41. 41
    SFAW says:

    How the gop still thinks such a demolished government and economy could conquer the world is unclear.

    Because Shut Up!, that’s why.

    As Shakespeare or someone else once wrote:
    Same as it ever was
    Same as it ever was
    Same as it ever was
    Same … as … it … ever … was

  42. 42
    Bill H. says:

    You know how many people care about the “rural air service” that you fear might get cut? The people who live in those towns; but not all of those people, only the ones who fly in and out of them. That would be a very, very small fraction of the American electorate. How many federal politicians are going to lose their jobs over that funding cut.

    “Political death sentence?” Give me a break. Not one voter in a thousand would even know about that cut, and of the ones that knew, only one in one hundred would care.

    This country can spend the greatest amount of time yakking about the most supremely unimportant details and verbally walk right past the fact that Americans are killing innocent men, women and children overseas almost every day in a sensless and illegal war in the name of “keeping us safe” and bankrupting the nation in the process.

  43. 43

    @Rosalita: Heh, and you’ve got the perfect name to be the one to do it :)

  44. 44
    ericblair says:

    @Bulworth:

    Yeah but then since gov employees (of which I am one)couldn’t get to their jobs they would end up cutting gov. they might also hurt a few other people and some businesses, but hey, that’s what study groups are for.

    Cutting Metro funding would send all the worker bees onto the already completely overloaded roads and bridges, causing our lords and masters in Potomac, McLean, and Great Falls to have to sit in the same standstill traffic as the rabble and be late for their sinecure jobs and Georgetown parties. So yep, there’s your problem.

    I agree with the opinion that all this garbage is just packing together all the wingnut bugaboos and expecting the Dems to cockblock the whole thing, leading to useful spittle-flecked 2012 campaign commercials. However, it seems some of the grunts are getting restless, and, horrors, actually expect things to happen. So Boehner, bless his orange little heart, seems to be in a bit of a jam already, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer mentally unstable sociopath.

  45. 45
    SFAW says:

    To echo Bill H –

    Most voters have no idea what goes on, they only hear (and sometimes understand) broad messages. “God, guns, and gays” is about all most voters can handle.

    It’s certainly pretty to think that BJ-ers, or Firebaggers, or Atriots, or Kossacks are representative of the electorate, vis-a-vis understanding the inside game in DC. But they’re not, and may never be.

    The Rethugs will control the debate, and continue to get 40-plus percent of the vote, until such time as some Republican-caused catastrophe occurs (actually, one for which they get blamed, since they too-often weasel out of responsibility). And even then, they’ll get their hard-core 35% zipperhead vote.

    Even screwing with Social Security is no longer a “political death sentence”, and you’re trying to tell us that losing air service to East Overshoe is a killer? You’ve been reading too much Jonah or Hoft or Atlas Shrugs.

  46. 46
    Michael says:

    @Bill H.:

    You know how many people care about the “rural air service” that you fear might get cut? The people who live in those towns; but not all of those people, only the ones who fly in and out of them. That would be a very, very small fraction of the American electorate. How many federal politicians are going to lose their jobs over that funding cut.

    The electoral problem isn’t the ruralities. Your average agricultural tract owner-operator understands and appreciates the value of federal subsidy to his business, and is willing to trade off – and selects his representatives accordingly.

    If you note, the crazy isn’t being propelled so much in those districts. The real problem is from the expensive to build, maintain and sustain exurbs, with reps who cater to those “by the bootstraps” bidnessmen and their wasteful housefraus (who live at the tail end of long transportation and utility infrastructure lines). These paragons of civic and fiscal virtue sap the life out of the urban cores from which their businesses and employers derive wealth, all while excoriating the urban core residents that they exploit.

  47. 47
    D. Mason says:

    @Bulworth: Uhhh… lol? Empires with trashed economies and governments have only one apparatus left to prop them up in their waning years. If they can just finish off the government and economy they can have the wargasm to end all wargasms in the name of holding the “country”(read:2rd world and slipping military dictatorship) together.

  48. 48
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Svensker:

    I like how they’re cutting aid to Egypt, showing their deep understanding of our policies in the Middle East.

    It would be nice to get out from under the 5 billion/year extortion payment negotiated in the Camp David accords since Israel and Egypt still have two of the largest armies in the middle east pointed at each other across their borders.

    I say let ’em destroy each other. We can save the money AND sell them all weapons.

  49. 49
    Uloborus says:

    This crap won’t go through the Senate, and I’m not entirely sure it can go through the House. Hardcore Wingnuts will vote for it, but a lot of old school Reps who’ve just been trying to weather the storm (and they outnumber the Tea Stooges heavily) know that they keep their job by delivering the pork. To those who say they can’t lose an election in their heavily red districts I say: They damn well can, and when does it happen? When they fail to deliver the pork. It just usually happens in primaries, so SOME Republican whacko gets the title. That’s no comfort to the ex-Rep.

    So since this is basically a pony list – and congress loves pony lists – we must ask what purpose it does serve. I’m guessing it’s a list of bargaining points that they can peel away to protect the only cut they care about. They’re desperate to slow down the effects of the ACA. Whether or not it will deliver the electorate to the Dems for a generation doesn’t matter. Kristol said it would, and they believe him. They can’t repeal it, and actual strategists understand that even defunding it’s going to be a bitch. They heavily control the House, but the Dems hold the Senate AND the presidency. So they’re lining up the threats.

    This will all get even weirder because apparently The Big Orange is not very good at controlling his reps. He doesn’t have McConnell’s freakish absolute party loyalty thing to depend on.

  50. 50
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Where’s the line item for “Eliminate money spent on, and given to, colored people”?

    I must have missed it…

  51. 51
    Pongo says:

    In 2002 Bush signed a bill mandating the creation of an Office for Rare Diseases Research (ORDR) at NIH. This is a tiny office tasked with making sure that the 30,000,000 Americans with one of more than 6,000 rare disorders has fair access to clinical research to help them find better treatments and cures. Rare disorders are ignored by pharma and even by the institutes of the NIH, yet collectively they cause a lot of misery and are expensive to the healthcare system.

    Programs started by the ORDR, including establishing a research network to leverage resources for disorders with similar issues and encouraging public/private partnerships, have been enormously successful. In fact, they are a model of wise govt spending. So guess which office (whose budget constitutes less than 1/2 of one percent of the total budget) is on the chopping block? The right is too cowardly to come right and say they are taking funding away from people with rare disorders, though. Instead they are ‘reorganizing’ the Office of the Director at NIH, effectively reorganizing good programs out of existence. We figured out what the annual cost to taxpayers is to support the budget of the ORDR. It costs .06 per American to run this office. I’m sure the country will be grateful for the reduction in their tax bill resulting from dismantling this program.

  52. 52
    rea says:

    Bear in mind that if the Republican majority in the House holds together, they can do whatever they want with regard to spending. It’s not like Health Care Reform, where they have to pass a repeal bill and get it past the Senate and the President. The Senate and the President can’t appropriate funds without the legislation getting passed by the Republican controlled House.

    Anyone hopping for defections by sane House Republicans hasn’t been paying attention the last few years. We’re dealing with a party that just won an election by refusing to cooperate with the Democrats in the interests of the country, and blaming the Democrats for the resulting disaster.

  53. 53
    Uloborus says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Actually, from the Republican standpoint that’s part of the beauty of it. There aren’t any government programs that are particularly aimed at giving money to non-whites anyway. They just offer to cut any program that sounds like it’s a social service of any kind and the racists in their party will ASSUME it’s being taken away from The Other. Because they’ve been told that’s where all the money was going!

  54. 54
    Uloborus says:

    @rea:
    Except they’re in exactly the same boat. They can put together whatever the Hell they want. The Senate and the White House ain’t gonna approve it.

    And so the fine art of negotiation is born. It truly will be a weird and unpredictable two years.

  55. 55
    Fuck U II: The Duckening says:

    Bulworth: More Feddies should be Teleworking anyway.

  56. 56
    matoko_chan says:

    @SFAW: actually…..
    the Bard said…

    and enterprises of great pitch and moment
    shall in this regard their currents turn awry
    and lose the name of action.

    u are thinking of the Talking Heads.

  57. 57
    ppcli says:

    How surprising not to see ethanol subsidies on this list. I’m sure Steve King and Charles Grassley will point out the oversight.

  58. 58
    Pongo says:

    ARGHH! Now this really chaps my hide, especially in view of my earlier post:

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress....../gao-dadt/

    $193,000,000 to go on DADT witch hunts after gay service people and an all out effort on the part of the GOP to preserve this particular budget item.

    Just as a refresher–$20,000,000 for an Office of Rare Diseases Research at NIH to address the medical research needs of 30,000,000 Americans at a cost of about .06 per citizen, versus $193,000,000 to promote a bigoted policy aimed at disenfranchising certain citizens at a cost of $52,800 per disenfranchisement. Which program do you imagine our new thrifty Congress wants to cut?

  59. 59
    Maude says:

    @hilzoy:
    Read that Wells Fargo and other big banks want a part of Freddie and Fannie so they can securitize those mortgages and get this, have a government guarantee as well.
    These banks need to, I can’t say and be polite.

  60. 60
    Francis says:

    @hilzoy:

    hilzoy: Long time no read! Still regret your departure from regular blogging at ObWi.

    Re Frannie: Absent the govt guarantee, the securitization market would collapse. Banks would have to originate and hold mortgages. This means (a) they’d make many fewer loans, because they’ve fired all the people who are competent to decide whether to issue a loan; and (b) they’d charge much higher interest rates.

    Since housing prices are, to a substantial extent, driven by loan availability and interest rates, housing prices would crash. This has a number of unpleasant effects. First, people who would like to sell (because they have a new kid, or a job offer, or are ready to retire) now can’t. Second, default rates are strongly affected by the amount that people are underwater on their loan. If you’re never going to see any upside, why keep paying? Just send in the keys. Third, as default rates rise, banks fail because they are forced to take losses on the loans put back to them from the trust they sold the loan to.

    Everyone in finance knows this. Sharply falling house prices feed back on themselves through bank defaults. This is why ‘extend-and-pretend’ was the core plan for both the Bush and Obama admins. to keep banks afloat. Frannie’s guarantee is a critical element of getting the new loans out into the market and ultimately getting out of the extend-and-pretend cycle.

    On edit: btw, this is why one hears very few complaints about the huge bailout cost of Frannie. The banking industry is entirely dependent on those institutions and is very cranky about adverse press.

  61. 61
    Matt says:

    @Bulworth:

    They’re planning to be raptured before most of the cuts take effect, so they don’t really care.

  62. 62
    Yikes says:

    But don’t cut the military! Oh, no, can’t touch that. Let the armored steamroller crush future budgets as far as the eye can see.

  63. 63
    feebog says:

    HUH?

    ■Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.

    As a former federal employee who retired with 40 years of service and was both a Union Officer and a Labor Relations Specialist for Management, I would be interested in knowing just what “activites” this refers to, and how it could amount to over a billion dollars over ten years. The only thing I can think of is “Official Time” which is negotiated by each Union for Officers and Shop Stewards to meet with management and investigate grievances in some contracts.

    And by the way, even if there were such “activities” which could be curtailed or eliminated, 1.2 billion dollars over 20 years is a few extra IBMS which we don’t need anyway.

  64. 64
    azlib says:

    The whole cut the budget dance shows the Republicans have no idea what they are talking about. At the macro level the Federal Government runs a military and several social insurance programs (e.g. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security). All the rest is very small potatoes.

    I will at least give the Dems credit for tackling one of the big issue items (e.g. medical costs) with the HRA. They will of course get no credit for any deficit reduction it actually produces, since its savings horizon is in decades and our political horizon is only until the next election.

  65. 65

    @MikeJ: Dude, I love you. I’m baking you a real pie and sending it to you. It works! Mwah.

    On topic: TAXES FOR THE RICH TAXES FOR THE RICH. I intend on shouting this at the top of my lungs any time this shit comes up. Along with NO HEALTHCARE FOR CONGRESS! What a bunch of bullshit this is.

  66. 66
    Bulworth says:

    cuts like: Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings. Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings. Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.

    Given the Republicans’ rejection of neutral budget estimates from the CBO, I trust these estimates scribbled on a napkin in some C-Street Home. Don’t you?

  67. 67
    russell says:

    All I have to say is: not another dime for mohair!

  68. 68
    Bulworth says:

    I just hope the Republicans cut wasteful government programs like immigration enforcement. No money for a Wall To Nowhere!

  69. 69
    Jack says:

    @RSA:

    Wonder what they’d get for selling Arlington National Cemetery?

  70. 70
    Batocchio says:

    Yup, they’re gunning to eliminate the NEA and PBS again. Shocking! Some of their other cuts are about delusion and deception, but those are just about being assholes.

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