A detailed look at the Rand Paul spending bill 

Want to save $500 billion this year? Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has a way to do it.

Is it realistic? Maybe not every part of it, but have a look below and judge for yourself. I don't think his total removal of rental subsidies is unreasonable -- the fact that Section 8 is a total failure doesn't justify dumping its beneficiaries  into oblivion. But there's also no reason every agency has to see its budget increase every year, and a lot of these cuts really do make sense. Most of them simply represent a return to 2008 levels of spending -- remember that a 30 percent cut is less than it seems when an agency's budget been increasing by 40 percent over the last few years.

Why fund NASA at traditional levels if President Obama has scaled back its mission? Why not let Indian tribes manage their own trust funds, especially considering the federal mismanagement? Why not realign our  military bases abroad, sell unused federal buildings (something Obama has already begun doing), transfer some national parks to the states, and end the wasteful corporate subsidies that come out of the Departments of Energy and Commerce?

Of course, even this bill would only cut this year's record deficit by one-third. But if you can bring discretionary spending down a notch with something like it, then cut Defense further as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wind down, you've gotten to the point where you can look Americans in the eye and tell them you've done everything you can, and it's time to do something about Social Security and Medicare to save the nation from long-term financial collapse.

I've copied down the short version of what gets cut from each agency or department, and the percentage cut. Paul offers a more complete explanation of each item here.

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH...............................$1,283,000,000. (23%)
Notes: The Government Printing Office is abolished.

JUDICIAL BRANCH......................................$2,434,000,000. (32%)

AGRICULTURE............................................$42,542,000,000. (30%)
The Agriculture Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Resources Conservation Service, and Foreign Agricultural Service are abolished. The Forest Service gets a $1.2 billion haircut.

COMMERCE...................................................$5,322,000,000. (54%)
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is cut by $857,000,000.

DEFENSE.......................................................$47,500,000,000. (6.5%)

EDUCATION..................................................$78,000,000,000 (83%)
Only the Pell grant program survives.

ENERGY............................................................$44,200,000,000 (100%)
The Defense Department takes over all of Energy's remaining functions (nuclear waste, for example) and about $18 billion of its budget.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES..............$26,510,000,000. (26%)
Notes: FDA is cut by $230,000,000; Indian Health Service is cut by $650 million; CDC is cut by $1.17 billion; NIH by $5.8 billion.

HOMELAND SECURITY.................................$23,765,000,000. (43%)
Notes: Coast Guard is shifted to Defense. TSA's funds are cut by $900 million.

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT....$53,100,000,000. (100%)
Notes: Completely eliminated. Veterans' housing programs are transferred to the VA

INTERIOR........................................................$10,934,000,000. (78%)
Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs are abolished.

JUSTICE.............................................................$9,057,000,000. (28%)
Note: Office of Justice Programs is abolished.

LABOR....................................................$2,803,000,000. (2%)
OSHA, MSHA, and the The Employment and Training Administration are spared all cuts (no cuts to unemployment benefits)

STATE...................................................................$20,321,000,000. (71%)
Note: Massive foreign aid cuts. All international commissions and organizations are defunded.

TRANSPORTATION............................................$42,810,000,000. (49%)
Notes: Amtrak is completely de-funded.

VETERANS’ AFFAIRS..........................................No cuts

CORPS OF ENGINEERS......................................$1,854,000,000. (27%)

EPA..............................................................$3,238,000,000. (29%)

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.....$1,936,000,000. (85%)

INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS...$24,300,000,000 (100%)

NASA.........................................................................$4,500,000,000 (25%)

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION...............$4,723,000,000. (62%)

OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT.......$9,070,000,000.

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION.........No cuts

FCC...........................................................$2,150,000,000. (22%)

ABOLISH...............................................................$2,050,000,000. (100%)

(1) Affordable Housing Program.
(2) Commission on Fine Arts.
(3) Consumer Product Safety Commission.
(4) Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
(5) National Endowment for the Arts.
(6) National Endowment for the Humanities.
(7) State Justice Institute.

MISC

Collect delinquent taxes from Federal Employees........$3,000,000,000.
Freeze Federal Government employee pay...................$2,000,000,000.
Reduce Federal Government travel..............................$7,500,000,000.
Repeal Davis-Bacon..................................................... $6,000,000,000.
Prohibit union project labor agreements......................$2,000,000,000.
TARP repeal.................................................................$4,481,000,000.
Sell Federal Buildings..................................................$19,000,000,000.
Reduce Federal vehicle budget..........................................$600,000,000.

About The Author

David Freddoso

Bio:
David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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