WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As Tax Day approaches, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) reiterated its call for all Americans to read Prime Cuts 2015, the latest edition of the group’s waste-cutting recommendations that would eliminate unnecessary and ineffective federal programs and spending. As the Washington Post noted today, CAGW is one of the “budget hawks” highlighting wasteful spending as House and Senate conferees meet to finalize the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Budget Resolution.
Prime Cuts has been published annually since 1993. Since CAGW’s inception in 1984, the implementation of the group’s recommendations has saved taxpayers more than $1.4 trillion. The 2015 version comprises 601 recommendations that would save $639 billion in the first year and $2.6 trillion over five years.
With the national debt at $18.2 trillion, Prime Cuts 2015 shields no area of government from spending cuts, including the Department of Defense. One of the many recommendations in Prime Cuts that would not affect national security is the elimination of unrequested funds to upgrade the M1 Abrams tank, which would save $120 million in one year and $3 billion over five years. The Pentagon wants to delay the upgrades until 2017 because it has more than enough tanks, but the project continues to receive a flood of earmarks due to its broad network of suppliers in numerous congressional districts.
Prime Cuts 2015 also calls for a 50 percent cut in Medicare improper payments. Improper payments across the government reached a record $125 billion in 2014, including $46 billion in Medicare. The ongoing suspension of certain audits under the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program, which has saved $9.7 billion for the Medicare Trust Fund, is a major cause of the increase. Restoring the audits would save $24 billion over five years.
The report recommends the privatization of the fiscally imperiled United States Postal Service (USPS), which has lost $10.5 billion over the last two years. Rather than reforming the USPS by restricting it to only delivering mail, downsizing its workforce, and moving its operations to the private sector, postal regulators seem more interested in allowing the agency to engage in questionable ventures that are already well-served by private-sector companies, such as delivering groceries and “non-banking” services.
Other recommendations include eliminating the sugar, dairy, and peanut subsidies, which would save a combined $12 billion over five years; replacing the $1 bill with a $1 coin, which would save $730 million over five years; preventing the Federal Communications Commission from increasing regulations on the Internet; and, increasing the use of software asset management.
“Tax season is the perfect time to remind Washington of the mountain of savings available to them. By following the blueprint provided by CAGW’s Prime Cuts 2015, wasteful government spending can be cut and the nation can start on a path toward fiscal sanity,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Prime Cuts 2015 is essential reading for taxpayers, the media, and legislators alike.”
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.