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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Is Fiscal Sanity Returning To Washington?

Encouraged by their successful vote to repeal ObamaCare, House Republicans are making plans for a massive, $2.5 trillion cut in federal spending over the next 10 years.

The House plan is contained in the Spending Reduction Act of 2011.It would reset non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels, affecting everything from state stimulus money, to foreign aid, scientific research, education, transportation, to federal involvement in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and over 100 other federal programs.

“Whether Americans realize it or not, we are all running together in a race against time. Unless Washington takes swift action to cut spending, we will chain our children to debt and rob them of the opportunity to reach for the American Dream,” asserted  Sen. Jim DeMint( R-S.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan(R-Ohio), and Rep. Scott Garrett(R-N.J.) in an op-ed published in the Washington Examiner.

Senator DeMint said he will introduce a companion bill in the Senate similar to the House Bill.

Representative Jordan, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, unveiled the budget-austerity package at a meeting held at the D.C.-based Heritage Foundation.

House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, said that the RSC proposals will come up for an up-or-down vote on the floor of the House.

“I applaud the Republican Study Committee for proposing cuts in federal spending, and I look forward to the discussion on reducing spending that our country so desperately needs to have,” Cantor said.
“As promised, we will have an open process when it comes to spending bills. I look forward to these cuts and others being brought to the floor for an up-or-down vote during consideration of the continuing resolution [for funding the federal government], and I support that effort,” Cantor added.

The committee’s proposals include:

1. Automatic pay increases for civilian federal workers will be eliminated for the next five years.
2. The civilian workforce will be cut by 15% through attrition.
3. All stimulus funding not already spent will be “clawed back” and eliminated.
4. Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will be eliminated, saving $445 million per year.
5. Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities will be eliminated, saving over $320 million annually.
6. $1.56 billion will be saved by eliminating all federal support for Amtrak.
7. Sixty-eight duplicative education programs will be eliminated, saving $1.3 billion annually.
8. $1 billion will be gained by requiring the collection of the unpaid taxes of federal employees.
9. $Nine hundred million will be saved by eliminating funds for the administrative cost of setting up Obamacare.

Democrats are already complaining, saying that these “ruthless proposals” will cost jobs and endanger the fragile economic recovery. But, warnings from bond-rating agencies about the soundness of U.S. debt, especially in the municipal bond market, will allow Republicans to make the case that the greater danger lies in failing to address the national debt that has ex[ploded from $8.6 trillion to $14 trillion since Democrats took over the House of Representatives in January 2007. And many Republicans, despite the expected heavy political opposition, are optimistic that the tea-party movement will help them accomplish these initial efforts, and more down the road, to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington.

One can only hope that they are successful.

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