Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) proposed a plan to cut over $1 trillion from the federal budget during an afternoon speech on Monday in Las Vegas. What is generating even more attention is his promise to accept a $39,336 salary if elected president.
Paul’s plan would slash spending by implementing such drastic measures as turning Medicaid oversight over to the states, eliminating programs he deems as “unnecessary,” scrapping programs that regulate various components of business and consumer entities and immediately putting an end to all spending of oversees military operations.
In addition to the Departments of Education and Energy, the Texas congressman would eliminate the Departments of Commerce, Interior and Housing and Urban Development. He would also abolish the Transportation Security Administration and leave it up to the private sector to take over these operations.
In addition to cutting the five departments, Paul would reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent, drastically reduce congressional pay and bring the budgets for other departments back to 2006 levels.
Reducing or eliminating the social programs – long seen as the “sacred cows” of Democrats – will undoubtedly stir up the most controversy among liberals.
The plan offered by Paul would give block grants to each state so they could manage such programs as Medicaid, food stamps and children’s insurance programs through various state departments.
"Ron Paul's plan is the only one that seriously addresses the economic and budgetary problems our nation faces," said Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign chairman and a co-author of the plan, in a statement on Monday. "It's the only plan offered by a presidential candidate that actually balances the budget and begins to pay down the debt."
Outside of Paul’s mostly Libertarian base, the biggest fans may be corporations, as they would see their tax rates drop from 35 to 15 percent under the proposed plan. Additionally, the Bush-era tax cuts would be extended and estate taxes would be abolished.
“It’s hard to imagine how the states would handle the management of programs like Medicaid and food stamps,” said Georgia lobbyist Raymon White. “It may sound good on the surface, but implementation could be a bigger issue.”
Paul's campaign staff, along with the Congressman, devised and wrote most of the plan with a promise to restore the federal government to a constitutionally limited, smaller-government platform that the founding fathers intended. The plan would cut $1 trillion in federal spending during the first year of Paul’s presidency and deliver a balanced budget by year three.