The following statement is from Ms. Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, on the rescissions package released today, Tuesday, May 8, 2018:
At Taxpayers for Common Sense, we spend our days looking for savings, so we looked forward to the President’s package of rescissions. Cutting expired or unobligated funds that have been on the books for years – and in some cases decades – is just common sense. Most of today’s list, however, seems like a cherry-picked set of reductions noteworthy mostly in what they do not touch. Nothing is being taken away from the Pentagon, which is the largest portion of the discretionary budget. Also not losing a dime – the Army Corps of Engineers, which we’ve repeatedly called out for wasteful spending; or the Department of Homeland Security, whose budget undoubtedly has bloat that can be trimmed.
The good news, however, is that there are several programs worth cutting. Many of these funds were appropriated a decade or more ago. In at least one case at the Department of Transportation the money appears to have been approved by the Congress a full 20 years ago – that would be during the Clinton Administration. It’s hard to argue that funds that haven’t been obligated for two decades should remain on the books.
We’re also on the record opposing loan guarantee programs so we’re not going to shed any tears for the Alternative Technology Vehicle Manufacturing and other programs in the Department of Energy.
A $20 trillion national debt, with growing daily net interest, requires us to make much tougher choices than what we’ve seen today in this rescissions request. Rescission of expired funds does not reduce current year outlays, so the largest cut to FY 2018 outlays is the elimination of the $2.3 billion contingency fund for the Children’s Health Insurance Program – a cut that will likely meet with resistance in Congress, given the bipartisan support for this program.
We’re not done asking the questions and demanding that the government make wiser choices with the taxpayer’s dollar. And, evidently, the Trump Administration plans to propose further rescissions in the coming months. We have one suggestion for them: check the couch cushions at the Pentagon. We’re pretty sure you’ll find plenty of spare change.
–Ryan Alexander, President