(UnitedVoice.com) – President Trump is declaring war on wasteful spending! On February 10th, the president’s budget will be submitted to Congress, and this year it includes a significant chapter that reduces waste, fraud, and abuse.
The national debt is currently $23.2 trillion, and annual budgets have been exceeding $1 trillion for the last several years. Some of the bipartisan proposals include eliminating dozens of programs, grants, and endowments as well as cutting unnecessary funds.
Here are four of the main proposals in the fiscal year 2021 federal budget to Congress.
Ending “Use It or Lose It”
If you’ve served in the military or worked for the government, you’re likely familiar with the budgeting practice known as “use it or lose it.” It’s been going on for decades and is a pure waste of taxpayer dollars.
At the end of every fiscal year in September, federal agencies spend every last dollar they have left. If an agency leaves excess funds in its budget, Congress may cut it in order to spend less or prioritize money to other areas of the federal bureaucracy.
Agencies are known to be highly protective of the dollars allocated to them and rarely make an appeal for less money.
According to OpenTheBooks.com, $97 billion dollars was wasted by 67 agencies just in the final month of the fiscal year 2018, of which $53 billion was wasted in the last week.
Some of the purchases by agencies included:
- $42,500 for inflatable games
- $34,000 for model rockets
- $53,004 for china tableware
- $308,994 on alcohol
- $9.8 million for workout equipment
- $4.6 for lobster tail and crabs
- $300 million on cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, and snowmobiles
- $491 million on furniture and redecorating
Ending Improper Payments
Each year, $140 billion is mistakenly spent by the federal government. The Internal Revenue Service paid out $18.4 billion in earned income taxes last year that wasn’t owed to taxpayers. $1 billion was paid to dead people.
From 2005 – 2018, the federal government wrongly paid out $1.2 trillion.
Other examples include:
- Social Security overpaid by $10 billion
- Medicare and Medicaid paid $85 billion in false claims and overpaid by $67 billion
Oversight of Spending
Since 2017, the Trump administration has eliminated 31,000 duplicate contracts saving taxpayers $27 billion. The administration is again evaluating duplicate contracts for elimination.
In addition, oversight of agencies is being recommended to help eliminate improper spending.
- The Air Force bought coffee cups at $1,200 each for a total of $350,000
- The US Census has exceeded its budget by $3.3 billion
- The private airport in Martha’s Vineyard received $20 million from taxpayers
The Trump administration is also targeting travel, employee conferences, subscriptions and entertainment.
Eliminating Unneeded Programs
Trump’s budget is also calling for the elimination of programs that are either not needed or no longer cost-effective.
Some of the programs being considered for elimination include:
- National Endowment for the Arts Endowment for Humanities
- Department of the Interior’s Highlands Conservation Act Grants
- National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasure Grants
Next Wednesday, Acting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Russ Vought will testify before the House and make a case for the budget cuts. We’ll keep you posted.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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