Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has released Prime Cuts 2018, the latest edition of the group’s comprehensive waste-cutting recommendations that would eliminate unnecessary and ineffective federal programs and spending.

Prime Cuts 2018 facts:

  • Prime Cuts has been published annually since 1993 and addresses every area of government spending.
  • 636 recommendations from bipartisan and nonpartisan sources including the Government Accountability Office, Congressional Budget Office (CBO), President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget, and former President Obama’s “Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings” budget recommendations.
  • Total savings from Prime Cuts 2018 are $429.8 billion in the first year and $3.1 trillion over five years.
  • Since CAGW’s inception in 1984, the implementation of the group’s recommendations has saved taxpayers more than $1.8 trillion.  


  • Eliminate the Market Access Program (MAP), a corporate welfare program that funnels taxpayer dollars to large, profitable corporations and trade associations.  Eliminating MAP would save nearly $1 billion over five years.
  • Eliminate the $2.7 billion earmark in FY 2018 for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.  The F-35 is currently more than $170 billion over budget and on pace to become the most expensive weapon system in history, including an estimated lifetime cost of $1 trillion for operation and maintenance.
  • Cutting funds for the Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs), which has bipartisan support.  Former President Obama recommended reducing funding for CDBGs because, “the demonstration of outcomes [is] difficult to measure and evaluate,” and President Trump’s FY 2019 budget would eliminate the grants altogether, saving $3 billion in one year.
  • Eliminate the sugar, dairy, and peanut programs, which would collectively save nearly $1.5 billion in one year.
  • Suspending federal land purchases, which would save $466 million in the first year.
  • Repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act, which would save $512 million in one year.
  • Reducing Medicare improper payments by 50 percent and increasing the use of software asset management tools, which would also save taxpayers billions of dollars.

CAGW President Tom Schatz said in a statement:

“As the U.S. budget hurdles toward trillion-dollar deficits and with the national debt exceeding $21 trillion, Prime Cuts 2018 is needed now, more than ever.  The only way to put our country on a path toward fiscal sanity is for leaders to make bold decisions to reduce waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement; and Prime Cuts 2018 is an invaluable resource for them to achieve that objective.”

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