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WASHINGTON - As the Congressional “Super Committee” begins its search for $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, a new study released today by the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (Illinois 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 Illinois 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.
* $428.8 billion in savings from ending low-priority or unnecessary military programs
* $232.3 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, Illinois 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 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.
The organizations plan to send their findings to the Super Committee which has until Thanksgiving to propose $1.2-$1.5 trillion in deficit reduction for a vote in the full Congress.
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