Here's How To Cut $2.5 Trillion In Spending: Start With $1 Million In Mohair Subsidies

Tyler Durden's picture

Today the republicans have proposed an amusing list of items to be cut from the Federal Budget, whose total amounts to just over $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years: an admirable if futile and pointless gesture. After all, never in the history of US government has spending been actually cut. And while among the proposals are such rhetorically pleasing if practically unfeasible suggestions as "Eliminate automatic increases for inflation from CBO baseline projections for future discretionary appropriations" and "Eliminate automatic pay increases for civilian federal workers for five years", some things the market may frown upon include: "Eliminate all remaining "stimulus" funding. $45 billion total savings" which means the Fed will once again be forced to pick up the slack, which it can courtesy of its recently disclosed third mandate. Yet what is shocking is the list of sundry token programs to be eliminated: we wonder just how many American are aware that currently the government's mohair subsidies amount to $1 million, that in addition to ECB FX swaps, the US actually has an international fund for Ireland (costing $17 million per year), that the USDA's sugar program whatever that is costs $17 million per year, or that apparently the US government spends hundreds of millions for not collecting unpaid taxes by Federal employees. One thing is certain: these cuts, if even implemented even one tenth of the way, will result in massive federal worker layoffs: probably not what the country needs as it scrambles to come up with every possible way to present data in a way showing the unemployment rate is tumbling.

Via US News:

FY 2011 CR Amendment: Replace the spending levels in the FY 2011 continuing resolution (NYSE: CR - News) with non-defense, non-homeland security, non-veterans spending at FY 2008 levels. The legislation will further prohibit any FY 2011 funding from being used to carry out any provision of the Democrat government takeover of health care, or to defend the health care law against any lawsuit challenging any provision of the act. $80 billion savings.

Discretionary Spending Limit, FY 2012-2021: Eliminate automatic increases for inflation from CBO baseline projections for future discretionary appropriations. Further, impose discretionary spending limits through 2021 at 2006 levels on the non-defense portion of the discretionary budget. $2.29 trillion savings over ten years.

Federal Workforce Reforms: Eliminate automatic pay increases for civilian federal workers for five years. Additionally, cut the civilian workforce by a total of 15 percent through attrition. Allow the hiring of only one new worker for every two workers who leave federal employment until the reduction target has been met. (Savings included in above discretionary savings figure).

"Stimulus" Repeal: Eliminate all remaining "stimulus" funding. $45 billion total savings.

Eliminate federal control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. $30 billion total savings.

Repeal the Medicaid FMAP increase in the "State Bailout" (Senate amendments to S. 1586). $16.1 billion total savings.

More than 100 specific program eliminations and spending reductions listed below: $330 billion savings over ten years (included in above discretionary savings figure).

Here is the full list of cuts:

  • Additional Program Eliminations/Spending Reforms
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings.
  • Save America's Treasures Program. $25 million annual savings.
  • International Fund for Ireland. $17 million annual savings.
  • Legal Services Corporation. $420 million annual savings.
  • National Endowment for the Arts. $167.5 million annual savings.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities. $167.5 million annual savings.
  • Hope VI Program. $250 million annual savings.
  • Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.
  • Eliminate
    duplicative education programs. H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored
    by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
  • U.S. Trade Development Agency. $55 million annual savings.
  • Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy. $20 million annual savings.
  • Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding. $47 million annual savings.
  • John C. Stennis Center Subsidy. $430,000 annual savings.
  • Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion annual savings.
  • Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid. $24 million annual savings.
  • Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 billion annual savings.
  • Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%. $600 million annual savings.
  • Essential Air Service. $150 million annual savings.
  • Technology Innovation Program. $70 million annual savings.
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program. $125 million annual savings.
  • Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.
  • Beach Replenishment. $95 million annual savings.
  • New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings.
  • Exchange
    Programs for Alaska, Natives Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical
    Trading Partners in Massachusetts. $9 million annual savings.
  • Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion annual savings.
  • Title X Family Planning. $318 million annual savings.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission. $76 million annual savings.
  • Economic Development Administration. $293 million annual savings.
  • Programs under the National and Community Services Act. $1.15 billion annual savings.
  • Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings.
  • FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings.
  • Energy Star Program. $52 million annual savings.
  • Economic Assistance to Egypt. $250 million annually.
  • U.S. Agency for International Development. $1.39 billion annual savings.
  • General Assistance to District of Columbia. $210 million annual savings.
  • Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.
  • Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million savings over ten years.
  • No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million annual savings.
  • End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
  • Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. More than $1 billion annually.
  • IRS
    Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it
    offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury,
    instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget. $1.8 billion
    savings over ten years.
  • Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings.
  • Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
  • Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.
  • Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.
  • Eliminate Mohair Subsidies. $1 million annual savings.
  • Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings.
  • Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million annual savings.
  • USDA Sugar Program. $14 million annual savings.
  • Subsidy to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). $93 million annual savings.
  • Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million annual savings.
  • Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings.
  • Ready to Learn TV Program. $27 million savings.
  • HUD Ph.D. Program.
  • Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.
  • TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years

h/t Bruce Krasting

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Robot Traders Mom's picture

Cutting off my retarded son's subscription to Jim Cramer's the Street. $39.99

StychoKiller's picture

Eliminate the "Strategic" helium reserve, it's time Congress comes to grips with the reality that dirigible warfare is NOT gonna make a comeback!

Mohair -- just WTF does anyone use mohair for?

Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

I guess the Angora Goat lobby is still pretty strong. USA! USA!

grunk's picture

I have a mohair suit. It goes with my electric boots.

B-b-b-bennie and the Inkjets!

Jaw Knee Cash's picture

Let's hope they did not cut funds for hipster douchbag studies.

nmewn's picture

Cut until bone is reached...then break out the saw.

Mercury's picture

I believe the mohair (fancy goat wool) subsidy came into being during WWII when the government was hard up for wool to make military gear.  And then of course it never died.  That's how immortal government programs are.

nmewn's picture

That's my understanding of it too.

Regarding the budget, it's like death by a thousand cuts, both ways.

My first thought was get rid of Homeland Security (it's redundant)...followed by the FEC (if it takes months to decide a credit card campaign contribution from Mickey Mouse & Osama bin Laden, for example, is fraudulant I have no use for them)...then the federal Education Dept. (back to the states)...Dept. of Energy (created by Carter to make us energy independent, epic fail)...etc.

We pay good money for iGov crap that's completely useless in a practical sense in our daily lives.

To the bone my friend.

Gotta go to work to help pay for some of this useless shit.


Cheesy Bastard's picture

Priceless.  For everything else, there's mastercard.

Pool Shark's picture

Eliminate Visas for visiting Chinese dignitaries...

It's everywhere you want to be...

nmewn's picture

Hey!...I heard about that...Hu is going to Chicago to finish his studies on capitalism ;-)

Gloomy's picture

I just had a conversation with my PM broker (Colorado Gold)-he said he had nearly record day today as people are buying in huge orders. Maybe we can do an informal survey and everyone report back in a reply to this message what their dealers say.

Gloomy's picture


haskelslocal's picture

Next job you get, tell HR you want to be paid over 10 years. Amortize it and tell your wife, "honey! I just got a job paying $3.3M over 10 years!! Makes it sound nice.. Like the lotto....

Spalding_Smailes's picture

( – The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex. 


The genitalia-washing program is part of a larger $12-million UCLA study examining how to better encourage Africans to undergo voluntary HIV testing and counseling – however, only the penis-washing study received money from the 2009 economic stimulus law. The washing portion of the study is set to end in 2011.

“NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications,” the grant abstract states. “We propose to evaluate the feasibility of a post-coital genital hygiene study among men unwilling to be circumcised in Orange Farm, South Africa.”

sabra1's picture

just unplug the bernanks printing press!!!

Gloomy's picture




I just had a conversation with my PM broker (Colorado Gold)-he said he had nearly record day today as people are buying in huge orders. Maybe we can do an informal survey and everyone report back in a reply to this message what their dealers say.

Spalding_Smailes's picture

The guys a fucking salesman. 


"Home sales are coming down from the mountain peak, but they will level out at a high plateau -- a plateau that is higher than previous peaks in the housing cycle.”
- David Lereah, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors

"...housing activity will remain healthy for some time to come."
- David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, October 28, 2005

"The idea that we're going to see a collapse in the housing market seems to me improbable”
- John Snow, Secretary of the Treasury

"...good stocks are cheap at these prices."
- Goodbody and Company market letter quoted in The New York Times, Friday, October 25, 1929

"I am convinced that through these measures we have reestablished confidence."
- Herbert Hoover, December 1929

"We are really on track for a soft landing. There are no balloons popping.”
- David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, December 2005

NOTW777's picture

they have to start somewhere

Misean's picture

" will result in massive federal worker layoffs: probably not what the country needs..."'s PRECISELY what this country needs. Fewer BureauRATs mean less interference, and less waste. When resources are getting thin one does not waste them. They can always stand on a street corner with signs "Will engage in petty regulatory tyranny for food" or "Will shuffle papers for food." or "Will pretend to be busy for food" know, stuff they're good at...sans the ability to stick a gun in their neighbors face and FORCE them to pay up...pitty really.

Kayman's picture

Time to cut the country's OVERHEAD.

1. First let the financial dinosaurs die. Good bye and good riddance Wall street, Bernanke and the derivative skimmers.

2. Cut government employment.  Overpaid, overpensionned whiners everyone.

Yeah, go out and get that private sector job you keep threatening to do.

Want to know how much you will be missed ?  Put your hand into a bucket of water and pull it out... about that much....


Don Birnam's picture

Wages are generous enough, what with guaranteed annual increases and little "heavy lifting," but much like Jacob Marley's chain, forged link by link, and yard by yard through the "working" life, the eternal federal retirement pension and health benefits are the most ponderous and draining.

nmewn's picture

The first thing that needs to happen is stop the ridiculous baseline budgeting process...the ever upwardly mobile budget for federal expenditures.

No family or business runs their affairs this way...built in spending increases year after's suicidal.

XitSam's picture

"One thing is certain: these cuts, if even implemented even one tenth of the way, will result in massive federal worker layoffs: probably not what the country needs as it scrambles to come up with every possible way to present data in a way showing the unemployment rate is tumbling."

After re-reading the whole quote, I believe he is being sarcastic.

freedmon's picture

No, he's exactly right. I don't argue that there is a great deal of waste in the federal government, but if you slash government spending and send federal workers home, where are they going to go? They will just add to the unemployment numbers, tax revenues will drop accordingly (remember that those people pay federal and state income taxes on those "wasteful" govt salaries), as will aggregate economic demand. The proposed "savings" will never materialise.

Next, with so many more new ex-bureaucrats on the dole, and the savings offset by a loss of tax revenue and rising UI benefit costs, the next proposal will be to cut medicaid and welfare. Then you wind up with millions of starving people who have no way out, and you're certainly not going to get a recovery out of that.

RockyRacoon's picture

They can join the Paper Shuffling & Pencil Pushers Union.

I hear they meet at the local Unemployment Office.

profoundlogic's picture

How about cutting half of the money-siphon that is the military industrial complex?  Oh wait, the Afgan security force is going to keep my home safe.  LOL!

Yen Cross's picture

  This is very much appreciated! I just need to break it down! Thanks again to the contributer.

anony's picture

I'm all for cutting every single program listed above and the Defense department headcount and expense appropriation by 2%  per year for the next 5 yrs and no fucking bullshit calling,  "Reducing the Rate of Increase", a cut.

And replacing the C.O.L. number with real world Supply/Demand numbers. If the price of that which we need to survive---i.e.  food, fuel, li'l Debbies, and Ho-hos---then the checks the government issues for Social Security, REAL retirement and medical reimbursements and not every other welfare program that the politicians have dumped into the Old Age Survivor's Benefit, then the amount received goes up to account for it.

Instead of the stealth cuts in the Social Security and Medicare increases that my elderly parents have seen these last two years.   

Kali's picture

And get rid of the ridiculous and totalitarian Homeland Security. 

AR15AU's picture

Massive Federal layoffs are exactly what we need. WTF

cxl9's picture

People have been conditioned to believe that "we need jobs!!!@!" and that any job cuts anywhere are a Bad Thing (in our consumer-driven economy), without ever considering if a job needs doing, or fulfills a need. The vast majority of government jobs are simply welfare, providing services for which there is no genuine market demand. Few, if any, people would freely purchase the services that government employees are being paid for. But because this welfare is disguised as legitimate employment, people seem to believe that eliminating those jobs will be bad for the economy. Small wonder the country is bankrupt.

AR15AU's picture

Yes, a flat tax of 15% would render hundreds of thousands of IRS workers useless. Millions more in the tax preparation, tax attorney, and corporate tax / accounting fields. 

Imagine if these people actually did something productive for the economy.

Boonie's picture

Imagine your reaction when you realize your new 15% flat tax rate is higher than your prior net income effective tax rate...... Woops......Mulligan

Boonie's picture

Wow, six junks.  I even junked myself.  Let's clarify matters a bit.

First, sorry but you guys are being snookered by politicians.  It's so easy for them to campaign on cutting tax rates or raising rates on the "rich" when your marginal tax rate ultimately does not determine your tax burden.  Understand a politician's call for a "flat tax" for what it really is - a gross income tax.  That means, as a business, you pay tax whether your business is profitable or not.  As an individual, you file an easy one page return, but most of us see our taxes actually increase. 

Look at it this way - let's say your adjusted gross income for 2010 was $40,712 (the average wage for 2009).  You are married and file a joint federal income tax return with your spouse (or you qualify as head of household).  That puts you in the 15% tax bracket.  So, a 15% flat tax is no tax cut at all for you.  In fact, after you take your itemized deductions or standard deduction, as the case may be, any tax credits, etc., your EFFECTIVE rate of tax will be much less than 15%.  As a result, a 15% flat tax is actually a tax increase for you.  (If you are single or married, filing separate, then your $40,712 AGI puts you into the 25% bracket, but whether or not that 15% flat tax actually benefits you depends on those deductions and tax credits).  Now, if instead your AGI is $250K and you filed married/joint then you're in the 33% tax bracket (35% if filing married, separate).  After taking the deductions, credits, etc., the amount of a tax cut for you depends on what your EFFECTIVE rate of tax will be compared to the flat tax of 15%.  All the flat tax will do for most people is reduce their tax compliance burden.  Sorry, but I find TurboTax pretty easy to use.  Even Turbo Tax Timmay could do it. 

There already are plenty of flat taxes that you pay or may pay.  For example, Social Security is a flat tax of 6.2% for the employee (4.2% for 2011) and a flat tax of 6.2% for the employer.  Add Medicare tax of a flat rate of 1.45% on top of that.  For a self-employed person, that's a nice flat tax rate of almost 14%.  Let's say you are a business operating in Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Washington and pay their gross income taxes of various names.  Your business expenses exceed your business revenues, but you are still taxed.  Is that fair?  I don't think so. 

Face it.  None of us like paying taxes.  None of us like the compliance burden.  But I do like roads, schools, fire and police protection, etc.  I love to hunt and fish and like all hunters and anglers am voluntarily taxed when I buy ammo, firearms, lures, etc. to support wildlife habitat.  As a libertarian, a "flat tax" on my gross income is as much a violation of my liberty as a graduated tax rate on my net income.  Perhaps a national sales tax is a better route, as it taxes my consumption not my labor, but such a tax is highly regressive.  I have read that a flat tax rate would have to be 25% and I'm sure a national sales tax rate would be pretty high itself.  The average state and local sales tax rate for those states that impose it (47, including DC; excluding AK, DE, NH, OR, and MT) is 7%.  The compliance burden on businesses is at least as difficult, if not more so, than for the net income tax.  I'd guestimate that rate would have to be doubled and imposed on all of those things you need to live such as food, energy, clothing, medicine, etc.  I'm sure sales of gold and silver bullion would be subjected to a national sales tax, as well.  

As we know, it doesn't matter what tax collections are in terms of what the feds will spend or the number of government employees.  If it did, we wouldn't have annual deficits or a national debt.  The beast refuses to be starved.  Government spending has to be cut and the focus must be on the 3 pillars - defense, social security, and medicare.  The Republicans' list is nice and a start, but it really only gives them some campaign soundbites.  Let the snookering continue. 






gookempucky's picture

Not only that it makes me wonder what to do with those buildings that cost multi millions to build ???

Kansas City IRS building downtown.

StychoKiller's picture

Turn them into Dildo factories, not much of a change really! :>D

RingToneDeaf's picture

Amen, Cheers, Score, Brother!

Government workers are a drag on the economy. They are using my unborn children's children' future. How could anyone feel bad about picking a life draining tick off the lifeblood of America, the money supply.

Start with those millions of fiends in EPA, Dept of Special Education, ATF, USDA, FDA, HHS and Department of Injustice and on and on and how about the bankrupt states?

Hire a teacher, they sure did a great job on the kids. Blame home schoolers, they are responsible. They kept another million or so teachers from getting hired. Gack!

We must stop digging the hole before you can get out. One $6 figure govinmint employee at a time.

Ludic Fallacy's picture

I think the federal government cut spending in 1921, to pre-war levels.  It was a 50% cut, if I recall.  This used to be the way things were after wars/inflation, the gov't cut spending, the economy corrected and reset, and we moved on.  That all changed when Mr. Keynes came to the economic forefront. 

cxl9's picture

This is fantasy. Federal government spending will never decrease. The rate of acceleration may, occasionally, flatten briefly before resuming an upward trajectory, but spending will never decrease. There is simply no mechanism that can cause it to happen, prior to the ultimate collapse of course.

grid-b-gone's picture

And how about that Social Security $255 death benefit? How many federal employees does it take to track eligilability, confirm death, confirm next of kin beneficiary, and send a check?

There are thousands of programs like this and Mohair subsidies where the net benefit does not justify the administration of the program.

dondonsurvelo's picture

I see ethanol is still on the boondoogle list.  These jokers are not serious.

ewmayer's picture

"Mohair subsidy" ... what is that, some kind of federal anti-baldness initiative? Gotta grow me some mo' hair, y'all - can I get some government scalp-stimulus money for that?

fearsomepirate's picture

It's intended to boost mohair production so that Doughboys in France can have uniforms to fight the Great War.  And no, I'm not joking.

daybyday's picture

colorado wtf...just trade futures and take if retail is buying i am selling...and maybe you should ask your broker how the used car mkt is doing cause thats what he was doing last week.

spongeBOB's picture

Was this leaked around noon when the DOW and S&P took off ???

Cdad's picture

will result in massive federal worker layoffs: probably not what the country needs as it scrambles to come up with every possible way to present data in a way showing the unemployment rate is tumbling.

I really have a problem with the above quote...especially the bolded part, Bruce.  Pink slips by the 10s of thousands of govt employees is EXACTLY what Average Joe needs. 

gwar5's picture

Doesn't change the long term, only slows it down. But good start though. 

If Cuba can lay off 500K (5% of the population) from government jobs, we can lay off some too.

We need all of our dedicated government types in the private sector.

Of course they'll need to attend re-education camps first. 

fearsomepirate's picture

I don't see the problem with laying off federal workers.  On unemployment, all they do is consume resources.  As bureaucrats, they consume resources and actively work to destroy the economy.