There are quite a number of solid proposals for spending cuts andefficiencies in the minority staff report. These include "Amtrak'ssquandering the potential development of high-speed rail in theNortheast Corridor; The Federal Aviation Administration's management ofair traffic control facilities; utilizing innovative financingalternatives, including well-defined private sector participation, forinfrastructure projects." (Why should the money come only fromgovernment?) There is much more. The entire report is available at republicans.transportation.house.gov.
Additionally, a new House (and possibly Senate) majority ought toembarrass Democrats by exposing the number of government programs thatno longer work (or never achieved their objectives) and then ask for areferendum from the public as to whether they want the money they earnto continue to go for such things. Republicans could also ask theprivate sector to submit proposals for projects it could do lessexpensively and more efficiently than government.
People who elect not to participate in government programs might begiven a tax break. A new emphasis on healthy living (thank you Michelle Obama for emphasizing how overweight we are) would reduce the costs ofhealth care and possibly lower the cost of health insurance, as well asreduce the number of hospital stays.
The public will likely accept these and other cost reductions if theycan see results and if Republicans can persuade them that the cutsthey're making are in the public's interest, and not in the interest ofthe GOP. That's the challenge. Rep. Mica's minority report offers oneanswer to the question "Where would you cut spending?" Get this rightand there will be many others.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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