President-elect Donald Trump is sharpening his red pencil.
With President Obama having added more that $9 trillion to the national debt, there can be but one remedy: Cut, slash and burn all government waste and unneeded federal programs. And Trump has expressed a willingness to do exactly that.
Trump transition team members have been meeting with career White House staffers to outline the cuts under consideration, and many are startling and bound to be historic if implemented.
They’re also likely to ruffle more than a few feathers on Capitol Hill. Here are some examples, as reported by The Hill.
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Proposals would include eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities altogether, while privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides funding to more than 1,400 locally owned public radio and television stations.
Also under consideration are massive cuts to cabinet-level departments, including the departments of Commerce, Energy, Transportation, Justice and State, which would include either the elimination or transfer of programs under their jurisdiction.
The overall goal is to reduce the next 10-year spending by $10.5 trillion.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington, D.C. think tank, provided the outline for the cuts last year, and Trump transition staffers are using it as their blueprint.
And its only natural that they would use the Heritage proposal — two members of the Trump transition team spearheaded the cuts to Heritage alumni. The Hill reported:
Two members of Trump’s transition team are discussing the cuts at the White House budget office: Russ Vought, a former aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence and the former executive director of the RSC [Republican Study Committee], and John Gray, who previously worked for Pence, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., when Ryan headed the House Budget Committee.
Vought and Gray, who both worked for the Heritage Foundation, are laying the groundwork for the so-called skinny budget — a 175- to 200-page document that will spell out the main priorities of the incoming Trump administration, along with summary tables. That document is expected to come out within 45 days of Trump taking office.
Although Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s choice to head the Office of Management and Budget, has yet to weigh in on the proposal, the South Carolina Republican supported similar cuts offered by the Republican Study Committee last year that would have reduced federal spending by $8.6 trillion over 10 years.
“Mick Mulvaney and his colleagues at the Republican Study Committee when they crafted budgets over the years, they were serious. Mulvaney didn’t take this OMB position to just mind the store,” a former congressional aide told The Hill.
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“He wants to make significant, fundamental changes to the structure of the president’s budget, and I expect him to do that with Vought and Gray putting the meat on the bones,” the source added.
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