Letters to the Editor

Many programs to cut before entitlements

A doctor friend in San Diego sent me a list of 55 unessential programs that the Republican House has proposed cutting. All we hear from the media is that we must gut entitlement programs in order to save our economy from collapse. Let's first eliminate some of the programs we can live without. For illustration and in the interest of brevity, I have reduced the list to 15:

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting subsidy, $445 million.
  • National Endowment for Humanities, $167.5 million.
  • Community Development Fund, $4.5 billion.
  • National Endowment for the Arts, $167 million.
  • Programs under National and Community Services Act, $1.15 billion.
  • Applied research at the Department of Energy, $1.27 billion.
  • Unused federal properties; sell for $15 billion.
  • Amtrak subsidies, $1.57 billion.
  • Intercity high-speed rail grants, $2.5 billion.
  • DOE weatherization grants to states, $530 million.
  • New Starts Transit, $2 billion.
  • U.S. Agency for International Development, $1.39 billion.
  • Title X family planning, $318 million.
  • Administrative costs under new health care law, $900 million.
  • Repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act, more than $1 billion.
  • Other potential savings include eliminating farm subsidies, tax loopholes, corporate welfare, foreign aid to countries that don't like us, "czars" and unproductive departments. If we still have an unmanageable deficit after all the fat is cut, I favor some surgical modifications to Social Security and Medicare to save them for future generations.

    Dave Schwiebert