Tell us what you think about this key issue. WHAT CUTS WOULD YOU MAKE IN GOVERNMENT SPENDING?
(MONEY Magazine) – You asked for it. In response to January's MONEY poll -- ''Which Taxes Would You Be Willing to Pay to Cut the Federal Deficit?'' -- Ron Tuttle of Redmond, Wash. wrote: ''This is no fun at all. Give us a poll that asks us which government expenditures, perks, entitlements, etc. we want to cut or eliminate.'' About 25% of all respondents seconded the motion, arguing that spending cuts were needed more than tax increases. In February, President % Clinton offered his proposals for cuts. We'd like to know yours. Tell us how you'd use a line-item hatchet to reduce the annual deficit, expected to reach $327 billion this year. All the proposals in the survey have been debated by elected officials. The estimated saving that we note for each apply to fiscal year 1994, based on calculations of the Congressional Budget Office. This is a selective list, composed of cuts that could have significant impact, plus a few outlays that are among the most popular political targets but, as we show, would save relatively little. Answer questions by circling your choices, and feel free to offer your own ideas. Return the poll by fax (212-522-0119) or mail (MONEY April poll, Room 3238, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020). We will publish the results.
1. The Defense Department consumes 22% of the federal budget, costing us $298 billion in 1992. President Clinton has proposed a 4% cut across the board in defense spending. If you favor an across-the-board cut, should it be: a) 2%? Saving: $6 billion b) 4%? Saving: $12 billion c) 8%? Saving: $24 billion d) More?
2. Do you want the NASA space station program canceled? Saving: $1.4 billion a) Yes b) No
3. Should we cut U.S. aid to foreign nations in half? Saving: $10 billion a) Yes b) No
4. Medicare and Medicaid account for 13.3% of federal government outlays, or about $184 billion last year. Here are some proposed cuts. Circle as many as you support. a) Reduce the federal share of Medicaid and Aid to Families with Dependent Children from 50% to 45%. Saving: $5.75 billion b) Increase from 20% to 25% the Supplementary Medical Insurance co-payment paid by Medicare recipients. Saving: $1.5 billion c) Collect 20% co-payments from patients for all home health and skilled nursing facility services they receive under Medicare. (Currently, there is no co-payment for home health services.) Saving: $2.3 billion
5. The following outlays are among the most popular political targets. Circle as many as you support. a) Stop work on the superconducting supercollider, the experimental machine designed to delve further into the atom's secrets. Saving: $200 million b) Cut in half federal subsidies that fund projects like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Saving: $380 million c) Halve block grants for preventive health services and maternal and child health care. Saving: $230 million
6. It has not been considered politically feasible to cut Social Security benefits, which account for 21% of the federal budget. Do you think benefits should be cut? a) Yes b) No
7. If you favor a cut in Social Security benefits, do you think it should take the form of a one-year freeze on cost-of-living increases? a) Yes b) No
WRETCHED EXCESS (Please write in what you think is the worst example of government excess in spending.) -------.
Optional demographic information
Name, age -------
Your city and state --------
Home or business phone number --------