McCain Could Eliminate 10 Cabinet Agencies And Still Not Balance His Budget

Although his Jobs Plan today promises “Leadership, Courage and Choices,” Senator McCain unfortunately offered none of the above when he pledged today to balance the budget and cut taxes by 2013.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that, with the extension of expiring tax cuts, the budget deficit will top $400 billion that year. In addition, McCain has called for some $300 billion in new tax cuts. McCain has not identified specific spending reductions that save much money; earmark reductions, for example, would save only $9 billion, according to the Heritage Foundation. A generous estimate of the savings from McCain’s proposed spending freeze would be $50 billion. This leaves McCain with a budget hole of about $650 billion.

This is an astonishing amount. To put it in perspective, McCain could eliminate the following 10 Cabinet agencies and still come up $100 billion short:

2013 Projected Outlays

Agriculture $120 billion
Commerce $9 billion
Education $86 billion
Energy $30 billion
HUD $66 billion
Interior $14 billion
DOJ $32 billion
Labor $14 billion
Transportation $87 billion
Treasury $84 billion
EPA $9 billion
TOTAL $551 billion

We will have a more comprehensive analysis later this week.