Rep. Bachmann Lifts Her Massive Budget Cuts From Heritage Foundation

January 25, 2011 9:58 am ET — Walid Zafar

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Earlier this month, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told ABC's Top Line that her staff had discovered more than $450 billion in budget cuts. "My staff and I sat down, we've looked at the federal budget, and just our first swipe across the budget, so to speak, we've come up with about $450 billion worth of cuts," she said at the time.

Turns out her staff did very little "looking" and a lot more Googling. A proposal the conservative firebrand put out yesterday is copied — almost entirely — from a similar slash-and-burn proposal put forth by the Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl last October. The plans are so similar in the specifics, in fact, that they go after the same beach replenishment project. Many of the cuts are listed in the exact same order in each proposal.

Bachmann's lifted proposal is a veritable what's what of arbitrary cuts, many of which serve no other function than to eliminate effective programs that don't pass some conservative litmus test. For instance, Bachmann calls for eliminating legal assistance to the poor and completely getting rid of job training programs, such as Job Corps. Other programs that promote American business and protect American industry are also put on the chopping blocks.

Here are some of the programs that Bachmann would like to eliminate:

  • State Department's education and cultural exchange programs
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • International Trade Commission
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • Job Corps
  • State Justice Institute
  • Maritime Administration
  • Essential Air Service
  • Minority Development Business Agency
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • National Council on Historic Preservation
  • Food Safety & Modernization Act
  • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Bachmann also calls for cutting funding to the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, eliminating or scaling back the Department of Education (she's open to either), and capping increases in health care spending at the VA, which would, by her own logic, ration care to veterans. Last but not least, her proposal calls for the privatization of the "TSA, FAA, and Amtrack (sic)."