Some members of Congress who may have signaled support for “serious deficit spending” earlier in the week seem to have toughened their stance after news of just how serious the deficit looks to be.

To help Congress begin the spending cuts, we’ve started a list of non-essential government spending that could be curbed:

  • Farm Subsidies: Taxpayers spend $25 billion annually on farm subsidies. Over 90 percent of all farm subsidies goes to growers of just five crops: wheat, cotton, corn, soybeans, and rice. Just as producers of fruits, vegetables, beef, and poultry currently thrive without subsidies, so can other farmers.
  • Earmarks: The $17 billion spent annually on pork projects includes the Charles Rangel School of Public Service, the Montana Sheep Institute, and the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy.
  • Overpayments: The government’s own auditors admit that Washington makes at least $55 billion in overpayments to government programs annually.
  • Corporate Welfare: Washington spends $60 billion a year on corporate welfare–more than it spends on homeland security.

We invite our readers to share suggestions of other non-essential items.