Tuesday, May 25, 2010

House Pubbies Want Spending-Cut Ideas? Coburn Has Them

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) gets it.

Now [Coburn] finds himself on President Obama’s politically inspired, dubiously worthwhile commission to come up with ways to cut trillions of dollars from a mountain of debt. Coburn is outnumbered on the commission by a hand-picked majority of big spenders, but is coming well-armed with a detailed list of outdated, needless, unaffordable, fraud-ridden programs, agencies and expenditures that he has shoved under their noses, suggesting that these cuts would be a good place to start before even thinking about raising taxes.

About $350Bn for starters; the number could be much higher. (That number includes entitlement-reform, too.)

The list Coburn dropped on the Commission's desk is still embargoed. However, he's mentioned a number of items in the past which likely are on the list. Such as:

• $1.9 million for Connecticut’s Pleasure Beach water taxi service.
• $1.8 million for swine odor and manure management research in Ames, Iowa.
• $750,000 for continued celebration and commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the voyages of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain.

Or these National Imperatives:

• $188,206 to ask the question, “Why do political candidates make vague statements, and what are their consequences?
• $11,825 to study “Prime Time Politics: Television News and the Visual Framing of War.”
• $143,254 to evaluate whip counts by party leaders in Congress to determine the impact of party leaders in the legislative process and how successful party leaders are at mobilizing support for party programs.
• $50,000 to hold a conference on the effect of youtube.com on the 2008 election.
• $678,000 to study Internet social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook in an effort to “measure public happiness.”

We could eliminate the ENTIRE Department of Education, but Coburn simply mentions 230 duplicative programs and $10Bn in waste, fraud, and mismanagement.

And then there's Energy.

Congress gave this department, which produces no energy but adds to its costs, $26.4 billion in fiscal 2010, after more than doubling its budget by another $34 billion under the economic stimulus bill the year before.Rife with waste, fraud and mismanagement with at least 17 programs duplicating one another, the Energy Department handed out $5 billion last year for state-run weatherization projects, a massive increase over the $227 million of the previous year—a spending binge that contractors described as “winning the lottery.”
Worse, it was later found that a “vast majority” of states were not spending the money they were given

And we all know why: nobody can pay the "prevailing wage" formula mandated by Big Labor and still make a profit; in other cases, the D of Labor hasn't even figured out what the "prevailing wage" should BE for these jobs.

Dump Energy, Education, and EPA altogether. Dump the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Dump the "Don't Farm" subsidies to Scotty Pippin and Sam Donaldson (see below.)

Dumping all Cabinet positions NOT mentioned in the Constitution would be nice, too.

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