Who are the Republican Study Committee? Thomas Frank dubbed this type of government hating Republicans "The Wrecking Crew" in his book by the same name. Their mission is to dismantle government, or at least all the parts od government that don't directly maintain the elite's wealth, and privilege.
Discretionary spending, the part of the federal budget that is not on autopilot and is subject to annual appropriations, generally constitutes less than 40 percent of federal spending. Take out defense spending and that share drops to well under 20 percent. So if your goal is to slash government spending and your approach is to go after discretionary spending without touching the military, it will require punishing, drastic cuts to make any serious dent in the deficit.
Even then, it won't be enough.
That is the unavoidable lesson of the spending reductions proposed by the Republican Study Committee, the group of conservative Republicans who now account for more than 170 members of the 242-member House Republican caucus.
That 70% of House Republicans are members of the R.S.C. Wrecking Crew shows exactly how radical the Republican Party has become.
Under the GOP leaders' proposals, funds to pay Food and Drug Administration workers would fall by 35 percent, more than $1 billion. College Pell Grants would be cut by more than $1,000 from the current $5,550 maximum.
Republicans think that the free market should decide how much tainted food consumers want.
Republicans have been trying to make their snake oil more palatable to voters by lying that its not really a cut.
Chad Stone, chief economist for the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said it's misleading to contend that those are not cuts. Federal budgets have grown in recent years partly because of population growth, recession-fueled public needs and modest inflation, he said.
"Going back to an earlier level is absolutely a cut," Stone said.
So how does the Wrecking Crew's plans for attacking government compare with the Cat Food Commission's?
To get a sense of how massive are the cuts that the RSC envisions, consider that the president's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility proposed slashing discretionary spending by $1.6 trillion -- compared to the RSC's $2.5 trillion -- and subjected defense spending to a proportionate share of the pain.
Here's what the Wrecking Crew's plan fits into the bigger picture:
Taking inflation into account, this would mean an overall cut of more than 40 percent by 2021, according to calculations by James Horney of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Are the RSC members prepared to cut education spending by that much? Spending on veterans and homeland security? Food safety? Federal law enforcement?
I pulled up the Republican Study Committee plan, and went through it line by line. For starters they would cut the (civilian) executive branch by 15% through attrition. The Republican Study Committee is a lazy bunch, to accomplish this they would res-erect the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 by just inserting new dates for the ones from Reagan's second term, only this time it wouldn't factor in inflation. This show how much more doctrinaire and less pragmatic today's Republicans are, than even the Ronald Reagan era Republicans were.
Section 257(c) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended—
(4) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following new paragraph: NO ADJUSTMENT FOR INFLATION.—No adjustment shall be made for inflation or for any other factor.’
(1) no person shall be appointed as a full-time civilian employee to a permanent position in the ex11ecutive branch during any month when the number of such employees is greater than the number equal to 85 percent of the number of such employees on14 September 30, 2010;
There are about 1,664,000 civilians in the executive branch, Besides hurting employment their plan would put the whole executive branch into a financial straight jacket that gets tighter over time.
Here are a few of the rancid nuggets from the Republicans' sack full of turds.
TITLE V—PROGRAM ELIMINATIONS AND RELATED PROVISIONS
Subtitle A—Provisions Relating to
(1) The Legal Services Corporation
Republicans and corporations hate it when poor people have lawyers.
(4) The National Endowment for the Arts.
Art interferes with commercial messages.
(5) The National Endowment for the Humanities.
Humanities interferes with commercial messages.
(14) United States contributions to the Inter2
governmental Panel on Climate Change.
It got cold this winter, so science is a lie.
(23) The weatherization program
Well it didn't get THAT cold.
(26) The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Glenn said they're all a bunch of Commies.
Interferes with gasoline and car sales.
(28) Grants supporting intercity rail passenger service and high-speed rail
Interferes with gasoline and car sales.
SEC. 505. DAVIS-BACON REPEAL ACT.
Some Union workers vote for Democrats so Republicans are out to screw over all of them.
(e) LITERACY PROGRAM FOR PRISONERS.
Keep prisoners illiterate so they won't become productive members of the community when they get out. Helps private prison industry that needs inmates.
(i) HEAD START ACT PROGRAM
Republicans know if they don't keep people as ignorant as they are, people will stop voting Republican.
SEC. 502. REPEAL OF NATIONAL ORGANIC CERTIFICATION COST-SHARE PROGRAM.
Organic food is for Moonbats, right?
SEC. 503. PROHIBITING UNAUTHORIZED PAYMENTS TO DIS13
TRICT OF COLUMBIA.
No funds appropriated or otherwise available to any Federal department or agency may be obligated or expended for any payment to the District of Columbia unless the payment is authorized by a law other than the law making the appropriation of the funds involved.
Make sure the poor Black people on the wrong side of town don't get any money.
SEC. 707. RESCISSION OF HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM IM2
Of the funds made available by section 1005(B) of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–152; 42 U.S.C. 18121(b)), the unobligated balance is rescinded
And of course it would be just wrong for the government to help people to get Health Care.
If you saw a partisan agenda in the their choice of targets for cutting. you're right there is.
From Dana Millbank:
Ostensibly, their cuts were about reducing the deficit, but their list clearly had more to do with settling old scores. Many of the items - including the renewed targeting of Big Bird and the rest of PBS - were holdovers from Newt Gingrich's '95 wish list.
But, like Boehner did earlier, Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the RSC, claimed he was doing what the voters "elected us to do." Never mind all that folderol about jobs
If this is what they want, why don't the Republican Radicals just go all the way and just sell off the whole government, since its too costly for our ruling elite tightwads?