December 16, 2013


Federal budget: 10 cuts that would save the most (Brianna Ehley, 12/15/13, The Fiscal Times)

You can find all 65 recommendations in the PDF below, but here are the 10 cuts that would have the largest budget impact:

1. Eliminate crop insurance program: $87.1 billion
This program, which was created during the Great Depression to protect farmers from financial ruin, now subsidizes insurance premiums for agribusinesses on coverage they could afford on their own. According to the report, "it distorts the insurance market and market for commodity crops by encouraging overplanting and is partially duplicative as other programs provide more rational insurance for farmers."

2. Reduce spending for other DOD procurement: $85 billion
This category includes overspending on items like night vision goggles and radios. According to the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, the military spent $400 billion more than their base budget on these items. The $85 billion savings would equal the cost of the entire first wave of sequester cuts. [...]

4. Bundle Medicare payments: $46.6 billion 
Adopt bundled payments in Medicare so that a single payment is made to health care providers for individual episodes including inpatient care and 90 days of post-acute care. "This will create incentives for more efficient care and reduce medical errors," the report said. [...]

6. Cancel F-35 joint strike fighter: $37.1 billion
"The F-35 Lightning may represent all that is wrong with our acquisition process," according to the Sustainable Defense Task Force. The program, which will ultimately cost $1.5 trillion over 55 years, suffers from consistent engine problems and has never been used in combat. This option, suggested by the CBO, would eliminate the F-35 and replace it with sufficiently advanced planes, the F-16 and F/A-18.

Posted by at December 16, 2013 2:38 PM

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