Taxpayer advocate proposes more cuts

The Friday release from Taxpayers for Common Sense comes weeks after it unveiled approximately $150 billion in cuts, and the group is now touting that it has laid out a blueprint for decreasing the budget by $350 billion over five years.

In its release on Friday, the taxpayer group in large part proposed rolling back tax deductions and credits, including suggested changes to the mortgage interest deduction and foreign tax credit that it says would save roughly $90 billion over five years. It also said overhauling Tricare, the military health care system, could also save $30 billion over that same time span.

A new House GOP spending plan expected to be released on Friday would shave $100 billion off President Obama’s budget request for this year and would amount to a roughly $58 billion cut in current spending. 

In its release, Taxpayers for Common Sense said its list of cuts were basically low-hanging fruit.

“We believe the programs listed here – whether funded through appropriations or the tax code – can be safely eliminated because they are an inefficient, ineffective, or wasteful use of taxpayer money,” the group said.

But some of their proposals would undoubtedly cause some controversy if Washington officials tried to put them on the chopping block. 

President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission, for instance, was criticized by the real estate industry and some lawmakers when it recommended reforming the mortgage interest deduction.

For his part, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that the Pentagon would look to find savings in the Tricare system, an announcement that received some pushback from military associations.