Even in the “Drain the Swamp” era, the national debt of the United States first exceeded $21 trillion in 2018 and is poised to rise substantially in the coming years. To help chart a path out of this calamitous hole, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is releasing Prime Cuts 2018, a comprehensive account of options the federal government possesses to cut into the ballooning debt.
CAGW has been publishing Prime Cuts since 1993. The 2018 version contains 636 recommendations that would save taxpayers $429.8 billion in the first year and $3.1 trillion over five years.
Prime Cuts 2018 addresses every area of government spending. For example, the report proposes eliminating the Market Access Program (MAP), which aims to help agricultural producers promote U.S. products overseas. However, MAP is a corporate welfare program that funnels millions of dollars to large, profitable corporations and trade associations that can well afford to pay for their own ads. Eliminating MAP would save taxpayers nearly $1 billion over five years.
Numerous cuts can be made to the Department of Defense (DOD) without jeopardizing national security, including eliminating congressional add-ons for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The F-35 is $173 billion over budget, seven years behind schedule, and on pace to become the most expensive weapon system in history, with an estimated lifetime cost of $1 trillion for operation and maintenance.
The recommendations also include long-standing proposals to eliminate the sugar, dairy, and peanut programs; reduce Medicare improper payments by 50 percent; and, increase the use of software asset management tools.