Prohibit Stimulus Funding for Promotional Signage And Recoup Previously Spent Funds
Saves: Tens of millions
Across the country, signs have been erected to alert citizens that certain projects are being funded by last year’s stimulus bill. These signs, often along highways, provide no meaningful information, create no jobs, and have been criticized as taxpayer funded advertisements for the stimulus bill. Unfortunately, no accurate information exists on the total number of signs erected and their cost to taxpayers. Press reports from across the country indicate, however, that the costs could well be in the millions of dollars. This proposal would prohibit funding for any additional signs, would require agencies to report on the amount already spent on signs, and would recapture those funds for taxpayers by reducing the agencies' administrative expenses by an amount equal to that spent on signs
Eliminate Unnecessary Congressional Printing
Potential savings of $35 million + over ten years
Whenever a Member of Congress introduces a bill or resolution, the Government Printing Office prints 200 paper copies. In the last Congress, Members introduced 14,042 bills and resolutions. That works out to 2.8 million paper copies. And with all the bills available online, many of these paper copies are simply thrown away. This year, Congress will spend approximately $7 million printing bills and resolutions. By eliminating the mandatory printing of every introduced bill, and instead using technology to ensure that bills are available online for anyone to examine, we can achieve significant savings to taxpayers, while still ensuring accountable and open government.
Eliminate the "Dodd Clinic" Earmark From Obamacare
Savings of $100 million over ten years
Section 10502(a) of the over 2,000 page recently enacted Obamacare government healthcare bill provides $100 million for construction at an unnamed "health care facility." However, the language in health bill is tailored in such a way as to ensure the funding is earmarked for the University of Connecticut. By eliminating this special interest funding, we can protect taxpayers while we work to repeal the entire health care law.
Prohibit "First-Class" Subsidies on Amtrak
Potential savings of $1.2 billion over ten years
While only 16 percent of Amtrak long-distance passengers opt for "sleeper class" travel, as opposed to coach class, federal taxpayers provide substantial extra subsidies for this first class travel. Passengers in long-distance first class travel are provided a sleeping room, many with a private toilet and shower, turn-down service, and complimentary entertainment and pre-paid food. Yet, Amtrak loses more than twice as much per passenger (an average of $396) for first class service as compared to coach class service. These losses are made up by taxpayers. This proposal would eliminate subsidies for first-class service and require Amtrak to provide any first class service at cost.
Reform the Energy Star Program
Potential savings of $655 million over ten years
The federal government’s Energy Star program has recently come under fire for lax standards and oversight. The program is supposed to certify products as energy efficient and encourage consumers to buy certified products. But a recent audit revealed that the program awarded energy star designations to companies that didn’t even exist and to bogus products, including "a gas-powered clock radio and a feather duster attached to a space heater." The Administration is in the process of revamping the program and has proposed that manufactures pay the costs of independent testing for their products. This proposal would build on that reform by also requiring that the companies that benefit from the Energy Star program (by having their products promoted by the government) pay for the full costs of the program.
Prevent LIHEAP Payments to Individuals Who are Deceased, Incarcerated, or Who Don't Meet Income Requirements
Potential savings of hundreds of millions of dollars over ten years.
Through the LIHEAP program the government spends approximately $5 billion a year to provide energy assistance subsidies to 8.3 million low-income households. A recent audit in seven states revealed significant fraud, waste, and mismanagement in the program totaling at least $100 million. For example the audit revealed that over 11,000 deceased individuals were used as applicants for assistance, as were hundreds of incarcerated individuals, and over a thousand federal employees accessed benefits despite the fact that their income exceeded the income threshold. This proposal would require a comprehensive determination of the amount of funds lost to fraud, require the Administration to put in place controls to prevent such fraud, and reduce funding by an amount equal to that lost to fraud