Porkbusting, III

I got an e-mail yesterday from the office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) with some additional options (aside from cutting pork) to offset the cost of rebuilding the areas affected by Katrina. I'm not personally that knowledgeable about Senator Coburn, but a quick google gives some good MSM references. He appears to be conservative and a budget hawk.

At any rate, since the e-mail was more or less a press release, and I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else, here's the gist:

Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), and John Sununu (R-NH) announced at a press conference earlier today that they plan to produce a legislative proposal to find savings and called on the president to work with Congress to help those in need without passing the fiscal burden on to future generations.

Savings Options Compared to Congressional Budget Office Baseline Estimates

Significant savings can be found if the federal government curbs its lavish spending habits. The following table shows the differences, in billions of dollars, between the August 2005 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) "baseline" spending estimates and different spending scenarios.

Freeze non-defense, non-homeland security discretionary spending at 2005 level for next 5 years.$17.3$37.5$138.1
Reduce non-defense, non-homeland security discretionary spending by 5% for one year and maintain that level thereafter.$38.9$80.7$246.1

There's more in the file, and I'd be happy to pass it along if you e-mail me.

Update 9/26: Contacted Senator Coburn's office, and found there isn't currently a copy of the document hosted anywhere else, so I'm reposting the bits I liked below.

Examples of Wasteful Washington Spending
The following examples of wasteful spending were uncovered by the Senate subcommittee on federal financial management, chaired by Senator Tom Coburn.

  • At least $45 billion each year is being wasted in improper payments by the federal government and that amount only covers a limited number of federal agencies. If the 3.9% rate of known improper payments is applied to the entire federal government, elimination of these improper payments could save taxpayers at least $100 billion each year.
  • The General Services Administration, the chief procurement agency for the entire federal government, charges middle-man fees of almost $20 billion to purchase $66 billion worth of goods and services for the government. That equals a middle-man fee of nearly 30%, even though the private sector usually charges less than 5% for the same services.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the nations accounting watchdog, has seen cost overruns of $47 million on its building projects. The SECs building project costs, estimated to total $22 million, have instead tripled to $69 million.
  • The U.S. Agency on International Development spent less than 10% of its $90 million malaria budget to purchase products that treat or prevent malaria. The agency spent less than 1% of its malaria budget on drugs to prevent or treat a curable disease that is the leading killer of children in Africa.


  • Freeze non-defense, non-homeland security discretionary spending at FY2005 level for the next five years.
    • 1-YEAR SAVINGS: $17 billion
    • 2-YEAR SAVINGS: $38 billion
    • 5-YEAR SAVINGS: 138 billion
  • Reduce non-defense, non-homeland security discretionary spending by 5% for one year and maintain that spending level thereafter.
    • 1-YEAR SAVINGS: $39 billion
    • 2-YEAR SAVINGS: $81 billion
    • 5-YEAR SAVINGS: 246 billion
  • Implement the February 2005 Office of Management and Budget proposal to reduce or eliminatespending in over 150 federal programs.
    • 1-YEAR SAVINGS: $15 billion
    • 5-YEAR SAVINGS: $77 billion
  • Reduce or eliminate "pork projects" and earmarks from the highway bill
    • 5-YEAR SAVINGS: $24 billion

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