Where to Find $25B in 2012?

The debt deal is done. The Congressional Budget Office says that means $25 billion must be "cut" from the baseline FY 2012 budget. (After that, we have to hope that future Congresses will feel bound by this Congress. This has never happened before, but one can hope.) So where can we find such a whopping amount?

The White House Office of Management and Budget puts 2012 spending at $3,729 B. With this deal, it will be more like $3,704 B - a reduction of 0.67% from the total federal budget. After the "cut", 2012 spending will be only 24% above 2008's, instead of 25%.

I provide a few examples, using OMB's numbers for 2012, for where we might find that $25 B. (Each item listed, by itself, would provide the full $25 B.)

  • Reduce foreign aid (international assistance programs) 85%.
  • Reduce transportation spending 24%.
  • Reduce education spending 24%.
  • Reduce Dept. of Labor spending 23%.
  • Reduce Dept. of Agriculture spending 17%.
  • Reduce the following departments 4.6% across the board: Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, HUD, Interior, Labor, Transportation, EPA.
  • Reduce National Defense spending 3.4%.

I'm willing to guess where they'll look first. Generals and Admirals, get out your pencils.

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