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GOP House Candidate’s Deficit Reduction Strategy: Merge Commerce, Agriculture and Interior Into Super-Department

Republican House candidates, especially challengers seeking to portray themselves as outsiders to Washington politics, are almost universally running on a

Jul 31, 2020
Republican House candidates, especially challengers seeking to portray themselves as outsiders to Washington politics, are almost universally running on a platform that our federal deficit has gotten out of control. They’re also almost all opposed to letting the Bush tax cuts expire, however, so they’re going to have to propose a lot of cuts to government spending in order to live up to their promise of deficit reduction. How are they planning to do it?
Getting into specifics about the cuts you’d like to make is never a popular strategy for candidates on the campaign trail, which explains why most of the answers GOP candidates have given me — scrap the remaining stimulus package dollars, repeal the new health care law, bring non-defense discretionary spending back to 2007-8 budget levels — are pretty vague and insufficient for dealing with the magnitude of the problem. A couple of candidates, however, were willing to talk seriously about entitlement reform — and one got particularly creative.
Trey Gowdy, a Republican who beat Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) in the primary and is looking to win a seat in South Carolina’s 4th district, informed me via his campaign manager that he’d like to consolidate the Commerce, Agriculture and Interior Departments into one agency in order to eliminate duplicative services. His plan wins points for novelty, but it’s unclear what kind of impact it would have besides setting off a lot of bureaucratic turf wars. (Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute, likens it to “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”)
Also of note from Gowdy is “a BRAC-like commission to review federal assets that could legitimately be liquidated.” It’s a truly novel proposal — as far as I’ve heard — that’s based on a commission that was set up by Congress to reviewthe Department of Defense’s recommendations to close several military bases. As to what other federal assets might conceivably go on the chopping block, Gowdy didn’t elaborate.
Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood has over two decades of experience as a writer and journalist, specializing in finance and economics. With a degree in Economics and a background in financial research and analysis, Camilo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his writing. Throughout his career, Camilo has contributed to numerous publications, covering a wide range of topics such as global economic trends, investment strategies, and market analysis. His articles are recognized for their insightful analysis and clear explanations, making complex financial concepts accessible to readers. Camilo's experience includes working in roles related to financial reporting, analysis, and commentary, allowing him to provide readers with accurate and trustworthy information. His dedication to journalistic integrity and commitment to delivering high-quality content make him a trusted voice in the fields of finance and journalism.
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