Tom DeLay On The “Ongoing Victory” Against Government Spending

Holy mother of God! How can any Republican, especially Tom DeLay, be so out of touch that he could possibly say or believe this:

“House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an “ongoing victory,” and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

Mr. DeLay was defending Republicans’ choice to borrow money and add to this year’s expected $331 billion deficit to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief. Some Republicans have said Congress should make cuts in other areas, but Mr. DeLay said that doesn’t seem possible.

“My answer to those that want to offset the spending is sure, bring me the offsets, I’ll be glad to do it. But nobody has been able to come up with any yet,” the Texas Republican told reporters at his weekly briefing.

Asked if that meant the government was running at peak efficiency, Mr. DeLay said, “Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we’ve pared it down pretty good.”

Consider me to be stunned speechless…No, wait, I’ve changed my mind, I do have something to say: Tom DeLay needs to be examined by qualified medical personnel to make sure that he has not been replaced by a robot, an evil twin, or alien-controlled pod person. That’s because no rational human being, particularly a Republican congressman, could possiby look at the budget and believe that we’ve “pared it down pretty good.”

Furthermore, if Tom DeLay is looking for waste or good places to start cutting, here’s a great list to start working on from Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation via Ramesh Ponnuru at The Corner:

• The federal government cannot account for $24.5 billion spent in 2003.
• A White House review of just a sample of the federal budget identified $90 billion spent on programs deemed that were either ineffective, marginally adequate, or operating under a flawed purpose or design.
• The Congressional Budget Office published a “Budget Options” book identifying $140 billion in potential spending cuts.
• The federal government spends $23 billion annually on special interest pork projects such as grants to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or funds to combat teenage “goth” culture in Blue Springs, Missouri.
• Washington spends tens of billions of dollars on failed and outdated programs such as the Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Geological Survey and Economic Development Association.
• The federal government made $20 billion in overpayments in 2001.
• The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $3.3 billion in overpayments in 2001 accounted for over 10 percent of the department’s total budget.
• Over one recent 18-month period, Air Force and Navy personnel used government-funded credit cards to charge at least $102,400 for admission to entertainment events, $48,250 for gambling, $69,300 for cruises, and $73,950 for exotic dance clubs and prostitutes.
• Examples of wasteful duplication include: 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.
• The Advanced Technology Program spends $150 million annually subsidizing private businesses, and 40% of this goes to Fortune 500 companies.
• The Defense Department wasted $100 million on unused flight tickets, and never bothered to collect refunds even though the tickets were reimbursable.
• The Conservation Reserve program pays farmers $2 billion annually to not farm their land.
• Washington spends $60 billion annually on corporate welfare, versus $43 billion on homeland security.

Of course, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that DeLay sounds like a cross between Lyndon Johnson, FDR, & Ted Kennedy. If you look at his homepage, 3 out of the 5 headlines brag about DeLay “bringing home the bacon” to his state:

Congressman Tom DeLay (R-Sugar Land) today announced a record grant of homeland security funds for the Houston-Galveston area, with more than $54 mill…

DeLay’s Efforts to Secure FEMA Funding Pay Off

The Port of Houston, which just received record funding thanks in part to Congressman Tom DeLay

Gee, remember when Republicans used to brag about how much money they were saving the taxpayers by cutting wasteful spending? Those really were the good old days and it’s about time the GOP in Washington started realizing it.

*** Update #1 ***: In an effort to defend DeLay, Rush tried to make a case that this was all a big joke.

I don’t buy that.

First off, it isn’t even remotely funny. Number two, everybody seems to be taking this story seriously and DeLay hasn’t come out and said, “Oh I was joking”. Number three, in a part of the article that hasn’t been quoted very often, DeLay goes on to say he doesn’t want to cut anything out of the Highway bill and he again makes reference to the “great job” he seems to think the House has been doing of cutting down spending:

“CAGW and the Heritage Foundation also suggest rescinding the 6,000-plus earmarked projects in the recently passed highway bill.

But Mr. DeLay said those projects are “important infrastructure” and eliminating them could undermine the economy as Congress tries to offer hurricane relief.

“It is right to borrow to pay for it,” he said. “But it is not right to attack the very economy that will pay for it.”

Mr. Schatz, though, said the highway bill included projects such as flowers for the Ronald Reagan freeway in California, which he said aren’t essential spending.

Mr. DeLay said the budget this year was pared down and 100 programs or offices were eliminated in this year’s spending bills. “We have been doing that for 11 years,” he said. He said it’s an “ongoing process” that will be more complete after this year’s budget process, which calls for cuts to Medicaid and other entitlement programs.”

We’re not seeing a politician who’s joking, we’re seeing a completely and utterly out of touch with reality and what his biggest political supporters think.

Conservatives have been bitterly carping for years about the lousy, let me repeat that, LOUSY, job Bush and the Congress have done have controlling spending. In fact, that has probably been the #1 biggest complaint conservatives have had since Bush got into office.

After all that, we have Tom DeLay — who like every other political leader in Congress on both sides of the aisle, deserves a grade of “F” for his role in keeping in spending under control — bragging about the super job Congress is doing of keeping spending under control.

That’s just insulting to our intelligence…

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