Obama's Budget: What's Getting Cut?
By Ed O'Keefe and Steve Vogel
President Obama first introduced his budget outlines in February, at which time we assessed the early winners and losers. Today we take a deeper look at some of the terminations, reductions and other cost savings.
Speaking earlier today as he unveiled the budget, Obama said that "There are many, many people doing valuable work for our government across the country and around the world and it’s important that we support these folks -- folks who don’t draw a big paycheck or earn a lot of praise but who do tough, thankless jobs on our behalf in our government. So this is not a criticism of them."
For a detailed look at the budget cuts, visit our interactive, searchable database. Read about selected cuts below:
Anthrax Vaccine Research: Cutting the program saves $8 million. The administration wants to cut the CDC program because it has achieved its stated goals of reducing the number of doses necessary to complete an anthrax vaccination.
C-17 Airlift Aircraft: One of many DOD reductions, the administration wants $91 million next year to shut down the production lines for the aircraft, stating that the 205 already ordered and paid for will suffice, along with the military's fleet of C-5 aircraft.
Character Education Program: One of several Education Department cuts proposed as an example of overlap or redundancy, the administration wants to eliminate this $12 million program and instead provide more money to the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) national programs, which get $111 million from Obama's proposals. The budget cuts SDFSC's state grants however.
Cotton Storage Payments: This $570 million savings would eliminate payments to producers who store cotton until prices rise. "There is no reason the Government should be paying for the storage of cotton, particularly since it does not provide this assistance for other commodities," according to Obama's budget proposals.
Even Start: Another Education Dept. cut, the program provides grants to local family literacy projects, but it has not worked well, according to White House officials. It was singled out as an example of cost savings in the White House briefing calls and news releases. Cutting this program would save $66 million in FY 2010. President Bush faced Democratic opposition in his attempts to cut the program. Will Obama succeed? He might, since it pumped $5 billion into Head Start with the stimulus package and plans more funding for other childhood education programs.
F-22 Raptor Fighter Aircraft: It has several Congressional and industry backers, so we'll see if this ever gets cut, but the administration says that the 187 ordered aircraft, coupled with the new Joint Strike Fighter now in production can meet future threats.
Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation: The budget doesn't eliminate the program, it merely ends $1 million in federal funding. The current endowment should suffice and the foundation can raise private funding instead, according to the administration.
The Presidential Helicopter VH-71 or "Marine One": The replacement aircraft are already six years overdue, having cost the federal government $3.2 billion. Next year's proposed budget cancels the program and earmarks $85 million for termination costs, new plans to develop a replacement program and an extension of the current fleet.
Resource Conservation and Development Program: Eliminating the 47-year USDA program would save $51 million. The administration believes it has achieved its goals of establishing community leadership development programs.
Yucca Mountain Repository Program: The budget cuts the program and denotes $196.8 million for the Energy Department to explore other options. "The President has acknowledged that nuclear power is -- and likely will remain -- an important source of electricity for many years to come and that how the Nation deals with the dangerous byproduct of nuclear reactors is a critical question that has yet to be resolved."
COST SAVINGS AND REDUCTIONS:
DOD Construction Delays: The administration wants to delay until 2015 the next generation Navy cruiser, the CG(X), a multi-mission ship with sophisticated air and ballistic missile defense that was originally slated for 2011. The delay would save about $150 million in 2010. The White House also wants to delay completion of the CVN-79 aircraft carrier by one year to 2013, cutting $727 million from next year's budget.
Military Recruitment and Retention: The administration proposes trimming such costs by almost $800 million in 2010. The funding was more than doubled to $7.7 billion between 2004 and 2008, but the administration says that now that the military services are meeting and in some cases exceeding their goals, the funding can be cut.
Support Service Contractors: The Pentagon also proposes reducing them from the current 39 percent of the defense workforce to the pre-2001 level of 26 percent. The 2010 budget request reduces funds for service contracts by replacing selected contractors with 33,600 federal civilians by 2015, saving $900 million, the administration said.
Limiting 2008 Farm Bill Payments: The budget proposes to limit payments to high income farmers to $250,000 per person, a measure the administration says would save $126 million through 2019. It would also provide no new funding for the construction of research facilities operated by the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.
USDA Under One Roof: The budget proposes a $27 million increase in the Department of Agriculture's building and facilities program account in 2010 to consolidate seven leased facilities in the Washington metropolitan area into one location. The proposal would save $62 million in leasing costs over 15 years.
Voice of America Silence (In Some Languages): The 2010 Budget proposal would eliminate VOA Hindi, Croatian, and Greek language broadcasts and close a finance office located in Paris. While the overall funding level for VOA is increasing from 2009, the administration says, funding related to these language services within VOA will be reduced from about $3 million to $1 million.
No More Meetings: The Department of Veterans Affairs has canceled or delayed 26 conferences in 2009, a savings of $17.9 million.
Debt Collection Procedures: Changes to the Department of the Treasury's debt collection procedures will increase the amount of delinquent taxes collected from federal contractors by an estimated $2 billion over ten years, the administration says.
Much more on the new budget from our colleagues throughout the day at washingtonpost.com and in tomorrow's editions of The Washington Post.
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