Fact Check

The Real Story on Paul Ryan's Proposed Budget Cuts

Item provides a list of 'Paul Ryan's proposed budget cuts'?

Published Oct 12, 2012


Claim:   Item provides a list of "Paul Ryan's proposed budget cuts."


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, October 2012]

The real story on Paul Ryan's proposed budget cuts

List of Republican Budget Cuts, WOW

Notice Soc.Sec. and the Military are NOT on this list.

These are all the programs that the new Republican House has proposed cutting. Read to the end.

* Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy — $445 million annual savings.

* Save America’s Treasures Program — $25 million annual savings.

* International Fund for Ireland — $17 million annual savings.

* Legal Services Corporation — $420 million annual savings.

* National Endowment for the Arts — $167.5 million annual savings.

* National Endowment for the Humanities — $167.5 million annual savings.

* Hope VI Program — $250 million annual savings.

* Amtrak Subsidies — $1.565 billion annual savings.

* Eliminate duplicative education programs — H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.

* U.S. Trade Development Agency — $55 million annual savings.

* Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy — $20 million annual savings.

* Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding — $47 million annual savings.

* John C. Stennis Center Subsidy — $430,000 annual savings.

* Community Development Fund — $4.5 billion annual savings.

* Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid — $24 million annual savings.

* Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half — $7.5 billion annual savings

* Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20% — $600 million annual savings.

* Essential Air Service — $150 million annual savings.

* Technology Innovation Program — $70 million annual savings.

* Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program — $125 million annual savings.

* Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization — $530 million annual savings.

* Beach Replenishment — $95 million annual savings.

* New Starts Transit — $2 billion annual savings.

* Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts — $9 million annual savings

* Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants — $2.5 billion annual savings.

* Title X Family Planning — $318 million annual savings.

* Appalachian Regional Commission — $76 million annual savings.

* Economic Development Administration — $293 million annual savings.

* Programs under the National and Community Services Act — $1.15 billion annual savings.

* Applied Research at Department of Energy — $1.27 billion annual savings.

* Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership — $200 million annual savings.

* Energy Star Program — $52 million annual savings.

* Economic Assistance to Egypt — $250 million annually.

* U.S. Agency for International Development — $1.39 billion annual savings.

* General Assistance to District of Columbia — $210 million annual savings.

* Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority — $150 million annual savings.

* Presidential Campaign Fund — $775 million savings over ten years.

* No funding for federal office space acquisition — $864 million annual savings.

* End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.

* Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act — More than $1 billion annually.

* IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget — $1.8 billion savings over ten years.

* Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees — $1 billion total savings.

* Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees — $1.2 billion savings over ten years.

* Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of — $15 billion total savings.

* Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress. Untold savings could result from this.

* Eliminate Mohair Subsidies — $1 million annual savings.

* Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — $12.5 million annual savings

* Eliminate Market Access Program — $200 million annual savings.

* USDA Sugar Program — $14 million annual savings.

* Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — $93 million annual savings.

* Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program — $56.2 million annual savings.

* Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs — $900 million savings.

* Ready to Learn TV Program — $27 million savings.

* HUD Ph.D. Program.

* Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.

* TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years

My question is, what is all this doing in the budget in the first place?

Send to everyone you know.


Summary:   This itemized list of proposed budget cuts is real in the sense that it was encapsulated in a bill (H.R. 408) known as the Spending Reduction Act of 2011, a plan to reduce federal spending by $2.5 trillion through fiscal year 2021, and the specific amounts of savings to be gleaned by eliminating each item on the list come from a Republican Spending Committee report of January 2011. The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 was introduced to the House of Representatives in January 2011 and referred to committee, where it has remained ever since; it has not been passed or ever put to a vote.

The current identification of this list as "Paul Ryan's proposed budget cuts" is inaccurate, however, as it was not proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee. The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 was sponsored by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, not Paul Ryan, and Ryan was not among the bill's 32 co-sponsors. (Rep. Ryan, as Chairman of the House Budget Committee, has proposed a different budget plan ("The Path to Prosperity") for fiscal year 2013, which seeks to balance the federal budget by the year 2040.)

The estimate that "requiring collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees" would produce $1 billion in total savings has raised some eyebrows, but according to the Washington Post, records provided by the Internal Revenue

showed that "about 98,000 federal, postal and congressional employees owed $1.03 billion in unpaid taxes at the end of fiscal 2010." In February 2011, Rep Jason Chaffetz of Utah introduced a bill, the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 828), which would "provide that persons having seriously delinquent tax debts shall be ineligible for Federal employment." That bill was passed by the House but has not been voted upon by the Senate.

One of the few items on this list of proposed budget cuts which is not accompanied by a specific amount of expected dollar savings is the "Death gratuity for Members of Congress," which in the Internet-circulated version of this list bears the legend "Untold savings could result from this," suggesting that this item is a comparatively large one. In fact, it has been the traditional practice of Congress that when a member dies in office, an appropriation is made to provide the deceased member's spouse, children, or other next-of-kin with a one-time payment equal in amount to the member's annual salary. Since the current salary for members of Congress is $174,000 per year, and Congress averages about two deaths per year (84 members of Congress have died in office since 1973), the expected savings from the elimination of this tradition would be a bit less than $350,000 per year. (More recently, Rep. Bill Posey of Florida has sponsored a bill specifically seeking to "prohibit the payment of death gratuities to the surviving heirs of deceased Members of Congress," but that bill has also failed to clear its committee assignment.)

Last updated:   12 October 2012

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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