Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Cool! No more wasteful spending!

The Gingrich Revolution of 1994 has been realized, and the government has trimmed all the fat it possibly can! Rejoice, one and all! Link:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) today declared “victory" in the battle to eliminate wasteful federal spending. There is simply no fat left to cut from the federal budget, he said.[1]

This comes as quite a surprise to most Americans. With federal spending now topping $22,000 per household, polls indicate that 71 percent of Americans are more bothered by how their taxes are spent than by the amount of taxes they pay. The average American believes that about half of his or her tax dollars are wasted.[2]
There's an old Southern saying that says "Try as hard as you may, you just can't polish a turd." It's amazing how far the party of the purse has moved the goalposts since they came to power 11 years ago. Previously ambitious (and proper) goals, such as defunding the NEA and public broadcasting, as well as abolishing the bloated and unneeded Dept. of Education, have been completely abandoned...and Tom DeLay thinks this is a success?

Well, the Heritage Foundation decided to accept his challenge to "bring me the offsets" to spending. Here are but a few of their findings that I've snipped and Joe Bidened copied for purposes of brevity, but feel free to check out the story for the full'll be amazed:

Waste, Fraud, Abuse
  • The federal government made $20 billion in overpayments in 2001;
  • The Defense Department wasted $100 million on unused flight tickets from 1997 to 2003 and never bothered to collect refunds, even though the tickets were reimbursable;
  • Massive farm subsidies go to several members of Congress and celebrity “hobby farmers” such as David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Scottie Pippen, and former Enron CEO Ken Lay; and
  • Numerous government programs are wastefully duplicative, such as the 342 economic development programs; 130 programs serving the disabled; 130 programs serving at-risk youth; 90 early childhood development programs; 75 programs funding international education, cultural, and training exchange activities; and 72 federal programs dedicated to assuring safe water.

  • $450,000 for the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • $350,000 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio
  • $950,000 for the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (WTF?)
  • $2,000,000 to relocate a kitchen in Fairbanks, Alaska

    Failed Programs
    Because good intentions alone are not enough to make good government, President George W. Bush created the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) to assess whether government programs actually achieve their objectives. After the first three years of PART, 60 percent of all federal programs have been examined. Out of 1,236 programs measured, only 38 percent were rated “effective” or “moderately effective.” By contrast, 40 percent were deemed either “ineffective” or unable to demonstrate results. Yet in FY 2004, $154 billion was appropriated for programs classified as ineffective or unable to demonstrate results. Congress largely ignored President Bush’s calls to terminate many of these programs. (No! Who'da thunkit? - ed.)

    Unauthorized Appropriations
    List here.

    Dammit, Bush...use your damned veto pen! Either you are a "fiscal conservative", or you are not (here's guessing the latter).