I think as citizens it is our right to ask questions – so here are mine.
(And yes – I am reading the whole thing – more tomorrow and the next day.)
“The Moment of Truth: Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform”
“RECOMMENDATION 1.2: CUT BOTH SECURITY AND NON-SECURITY SPENDING.” …All security spending, which constitutes about two-thirds of the discretionary budget, has one overriding goal: to keep the nation safe. The remaining third of the discretionary budget is dedicated to non-security programs – the large array of domestic activities, including education, housing, law enforcement, research, public health, culture, poverty reduction, and other programs. (p.17)
Discretionary spending constraints must not ignore spending for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and other future conflicts….Spending for OCO [Overseas Contingency Operations] would not count against the general security spending cap, but would constitute a separate category subject to a dollar limit of its own. …Under these criteria funding for OCO could only be used in geographic areas in which combat or direct combat support operations occur, …(pp. 18 & 19)
The Commission plan explicitly sets aside funds for disaster relief and establishes stricter parameters for the use of these funds. The disaster fund budget authority (BA) will be limited to the rolling average of disaster spending in the most recent 10 years, excluding the highest and lowest year. (p. 19)
The Commission recommends gradually increasing the per gallon gas tax by 15 cents between 2013 and 2015. Congress must limit spending from trust funds to the level of dedicated revenues from the previous year. …Shortfalls up until that point would be financed by the general fund. (p 20)
The significant growth in domestic spending over the last decade has brought an alarming proliferation of federal programs – many of which duplicate pre-existing federal efforts and each other. …The Government Accountability Office (GAO) will soon release its first annual duplication review of overlapping federal programs, agencies, and initiatives. The Commission recommends that in 2011, congressional authorizing committees report out legislation to consolidate and eliminate duplicative programs within their jurisdiction, and that Congress rescind savings from reduced overhead and program elimination. (p. 21)
FROM PAGE 22
Reduce Congressional and White House budgets by 15 percent. Although the nation’s economy continues to struggle, there’s no recession in Washington.
Impose a three-year freeze on Member pay. Unlike most Americans, members of Congress benefit from an automatic salary increase every single year
FROM PAGE 23
Sell excess federal real property. The federal government is the largest real property owner in the country, with an inventory of more than 1.2 million buildings, structures, and land parcels.
Eliminate all congressional earmarks. In FY 2010, Congress approved more than 9,000 earmarks costing taxpayers close to $16 billion. …The Commission recommends the elimination of all congressional appropriations and authorizing earmarks as well as limited tax and tariff benefits. This proposal will save at least $16 billion in 2015. (p.23)
RECOMMENDATION 1.11: FIND ADDITIONAL CUTS IN SECURITY AND NON-SECURITY SPENDING.
To meet the discretionary spending caps we recommend above, Congress will have to make tough choices. The list of illustrative savings options accompanying this report includes $200 billion in potential savings in security and non-security discretionary spending.
Yes, they will.