The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly rejected Sen. Rand Paul’s plan to cut spending by two percent per year over five years, with all Democrats present opposing the plan and a majority of Republicans in the chamber voting against it.
Early in the week, the Senate defeated a procedural motion on the so-called Pennies Plan, 69-22. All 43 Democrats present in the chamber opposed the plan. Among Republicans, 26 voted against the bill while 22 supported it. The plan would make an exception for Social Security expenditures. It also calls for making the Trump tax cuts permanent and expanding access to Health Savings Accounts.
OpentheBooks.com CEO Adam Andrzejewski is dismayed that a Republican-controlled Senate could not advance the Paul legislation, noting that cutting two cents on the dollar is far more modest than the five cents per dollar that President Trump advocates.
Andrzejewski says every penny that the government spends has a constituency and supportive lawmakers who will fight vigorously to save it. But with the nation now more than $22 trillion in debt, the current pace of deficit spending cannot be sustained, especially with the bankruptcy of Medicare and Social Security inching ever closer.
So where could we actually start to cut costs?
“Grant making in the federal agencies amounts to over $600 billion and it’s a target-rich environment. To put that amount of money in perspective, that’s nearly as much money at the Department of Defense on our military budget every single year,” said Andrzejewski.
And while some grants are vital, Andrzejewski says millions are wasted on frivolous projects like one million dollars to Cornell University to find out where it hurts most to get stung by a bee or another million for NASA to address religious concerns if we discover extra-terrestrial life.
Listen to the full podcast to hear more of Andrzejewski’s ideas for addressing bloated spending, including how much can be saved in Medicare and Social Security just by keeping track of who is dead.