Talking Points Memo has the details of Rand Paul's plan to cut $500 billion from the federal budget by the end of the fiscal year, which I mentioned in my column today. The freshman senator from Kentucky has not gone squishy yet:
Like the House's Republican Study Committee before him, Paul targets projects and agencies dear to liberals. It defunds completely the Affordable Housing Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
But it goes much farther than that.
It calls for rescinding all funds to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (that's the agency that offers protection from unsafe cribs and lead paint). It dramatically reduces spending to nearly every government agency. It rescinds most of the Department of Energy's funds and transfers the remaining dollars and accounts to the Department of Defense.
Paul would reduce Health and Human Services funding by over $26.5 billion, including over $5.8 billion in reductions for the National Institute of Health. He'd slash defense spending by over $47 billion, and defund all Department of Education programs immediately, while capping Pell grants at just over $16.2 billion.
Paul's cuts, which amount to 13 percent of the budget and 36 percent of the deficit, make House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's current target of $50 billion or so (which he justifies by noting that Republicans took over Congress in the middle of the fiscal year) look pretty puny. You can see a copy of Paul's bill here.