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10 ways Uncle Sam can cut spending

Government spending always gets extra attention in election years. That's particularly true in 2010 with the rise of the Tea Party movement.

Man opening book marked BUDGET, with pair of scissors concealed inside

But even before this grassroots group began getting a lot of attention, the Obama Administration had proposed a fiscal 2011 budget with 126 cost saving measures totaling $23 billion.

Some of the Administration's proposals are major budget cuts, such as the reduction or deletion of specific programs. Others are smaller measures that apply to certain government departments.

But, says CNBC, if some of the smaller, common cost-saving proposals were enacted across the whole federal government, the savings could be huge. has put together a slide show of 10 ways to reduce wasteful government spending. They could be implemented now, says the business news website, and potentially save hundreds of millions -- or even billions -- of dollars.

Two of the proposals involve the Treasury Department, of which the IRS is a part.

Change the composition of U.S. coins -- The penny costs around 1.8 cents to produce. It takes approximately 9 cents to mint a nickel. Uncle Sam could save $150 million each year by tweaking the metal in our pocket change.

 Eliminate paper paystubs -- The federal government could save around $2 million a year if it required its more than 100,000 employees to receive their paystubs electronically.

The other eight government-wide changes suggested by CNBC are:

  1. Don't throw away old medicine
  2. Power off computers
  3. "Right-Size" travel budgets
  4. Reduce additions to the auto fleet
  5. Change cell phone plans
  6. Eliminate redundant inspections
  7. Make appointments online
  8. Increase teleconferencing

Check out the dollar-saving specifics at the slide show. And if you have other ways you think the government could easily save money, please leave a comment detailing your idea.

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