On election night, Wolf Blitzer asked the Minority Whip in the House of Representatives to name one program Republicans would cut now that they are scheduled to take control of that chamber in January. He failed to name one. So don’t be surprised if Republicans, or at least the party leaders, adopt a business-as-usual posture next year, voting for another trillion-dollar deficit and thereby infuriating the electorate even more and committing electoral suicide in 2012.
Several D.C.-area think tanks have proposed lists of spending cuts amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars annually, as this Cato Institute blog post summarizes. If you peruse the various links, you’ll see a variety of ideas that could probably be implemented without opening us up to invasion from Mars or throwing Granny out in the street. For example, it appears that the federal government makes payment errors of about $100 billion annually. The feds also spend $25 billion annually to maintain vacant federal property. (Your tax dollars at work!) Surely there are ways to bring those expenses down by half or more.
My own modest proposal begins with an across-the-board spending freeze while the smart people work out the details.