Congressional Budget Office Proposes 103 Options to Cut the Federal Deficit

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) proposed 103 options that if implemented could be used to cut the federal deficit.  The policy options included both cuts in mandatory and discretionary programs and revenue proposals.  The recommendations included options for agriculture, defense, energy, education, social security, etc.  The options for agriculture would save approximately $130 billion over 10 years.  These included:

·       Conservation – Llimit enrollment in USDA’s conservation programs.  Prohibiting new enrollment in the Conservation Stewardship Program would save $8 billion from 2015 through 2023.  Prohibiting new enrollment and reenrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) would save $5 billion from 2015-2023.

·       Crop insurance – Reducing the federal government’s subsidy to 40% (currently 60% on average) would save $27 billion.  Also, the report recommends limiting USDA’s reimbursement to crop insurance companies for administrative expense to 9.25%

·       Direct payments – Eliminating direct payments would reduce farm program spending by $25 billion between 2015 and 2023. 

·       Food stamps – The report recommends tightening eligibility and determinations of income for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that would save $50 billion. 

·       School lunch – The report recommends eliminating subsidies for school meals served to students from households with income greater than 185% of the federal poverty level.  This is estimated to save $10 billion.

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