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  • No Surprise this Christmas: Washington's Wasteful Spending Continues

    Oregon cheese, IHOP pancakes, and a Hawaiian chocolate festival. Your mouth may be watering right now, but watch out—there’s a bitter aftertaste. These foodstuffs are just three of 100 items in Senator Tom Coburn’s (R–OK) Wastebook 2011, a report detailing Washington’s egregious use of $6.9 billion in taxpayer dollars this year.

    That figure amounts to 13.8 million iPads, and more fruitcakes than a person could eat in one lifetime. It’s about $2 billion more than Congress appropriated to its own branch of government in fiscal year (FY) 2011. Better yet, it’s money that could have been saved and put toward reducing this year’s $1.3 trillion deficit.

    Other government projects that made the list include a $742,907 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant for “targeted sheep grazing” in Montana; a $175,587 National Institutes of Health grant to study the effect of cocaine on quail mating habits; and $111,413 to pay for American brewing experts to train Chinese breweries in the age-old craft. Congress gave the Department of Forestry $9.49 million for its International Forestry Program, though interestingly, the Obama Administration proposed eliminating the program in its FY 2012 budget.

    Much was spent on duplicative government programs, despite a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report earlier this year detailing ways to reduce program overlap. More than $22 million went toward duplicative occupational safety programs within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Appalachian Regional Commission, which is charged with developing the economies of 13 states in the region, received $68 million in 2011 despite questions about its effectiveness.

    And while the USDA’s live Christmas tree promotion program is on sabbatical at present, the state of Michigan received $75,000 in taxpayer money to promote the evergreen.

    The merits of some of these programs can be debated, as Coburn concedes, but there is a more important question at issue: Are these spending priorities consistent with those of the federal government, as laid out in the Constitution? At a time when America’s gross debt is over $15 trillion and rising, and spending on major entitlement programs threatens to consume all taxpayer money within a few decades, can Washington afford such wasteful spending?

    These are questions the American people should be asking Congress and that Congress should ask itself before it spends taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.

    To some, $6.9 billion may seem a small sum compared to the size of the debt and future obligations. However, Congress should root out such wasteful spending to demonstrate that it is capable of tackling the larger problem of rising entitlement spending. Wastebook 2011 and GAO studies on duplicative government programs offer a starting place. When it comes to reprioritizing Washington’s spending habits, simplifying the labyrinthine tax system, and transforming and strengthening entitlement programs, The Heritage Foundation’s Saving the American Dream plan is the bold way forward that Washington should embrace.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to No Surprise this Christmas: Washington's Wasteful Spending Continues

    1. Bobbie says:

      The Heritage Saving the American Dream is a bold plan that Washington continues to avoid.

      I don't doubt someone used the words the president says he quoted, but no real American would ever admit such piddle for $40.00. This was a waste of time for $40.00 that isn't even extra it's already been worked for. it's 40 dollars less stolen! TV scrolled $20.00? all for confusion sake!

      Some people might not get their pizza, some may have to limit their visits, some have always had to cut back on their needed medications since Obamaa's been in office! He's worried about someone getting their pizza!?? Notice how he doesn't mention anything essential? that's where government is taking over.

      He speaks in half truths we can''t keep up with. He is demeaning to expect us to. He agreed to a year and gave us two months! Mr. Boehner should've been more wise than take the words of the wall street paper who aren't the mouths of the American people, so personally! Of course some in wall street are protecting the President who stole from us to bail them out! This is trickery and rotten to the American people. You had 8 more working days to continue fighting for what is right without leaving us this ugly, worse than coal gift of continued UNCERTAINTY! all this time and trouble for 40.oo dollars? How would I have ever gotten by without getting my nails done! Rhetorical political PUKE! Funny how these godless people use Christmas at their convenience! As long as they get their unearned holiday vacation making a dishonest living at our expense! I refer mostly the democrats! PIGS!

      The uncertainty is the president who blatantly lies! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! we want truth and certainty and if the president can't be man enough to give us that, he is unfit to be in any position to govern this country.

      Lack of experience has nothing to do with it. NO president had the experience before he became president so his lack of experience is NO EXCUSE! we're done with people in high places who lie, cheat and steal without accountability to protect with our money, their favorite able bodies but entitled none the less. government leaches, cheats and fakes. I'd say about 30% fraud out of the 51 working on both sides, recipients and social workers! Once social workers teach recipients on how to gain the system, woola! These people with the president's favor, are another aid in bringing this country DOWN! coming from government, rules are equally applied! oops, no more kids. rules change at the convenience of insubordination!

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