Obama Challenges TEA Party To Identify Actual Spending Cuts

Obama was in typical form Monday, doing what he does best: attacking, and not answering questions

The problem that I’ve seen in the debate that’s been taking place and in some of these Tea Party events is, I think they’re misidentifying sort of who the culprits are here,” said Obama. “As I said before, we had to take some emergency steps last year. But the majority of economists will tell you that the emergency steps we take are not the problem long-term. The problems long-term are the problems that I talked about earlier. We had two tax cuts that weren’t paid for, two wars that weren’t paid for. We’ve got a population that’s getting older. We’re all demanding services, but our taxes have actually substantially gone down.”

“So the challenge, I think, for the Tea Party movement is to identify, specifically, what would you do?” he added. “It’s not enough just to say get control of spending. I think it’s important for you to say, I’m willing to cut veterans’ benefits or I’m willing to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits or I’m willing to see these taxes go up. What you can’t do, which is what I’ve been hearing a lot from the other side, is we’re going to control government spending, we’re going to propose $4 trillion of additional tax cuts, and that magically somehow things are going to work. Now, some of these are very difficult choices.”

Obviously, he paints spending cuts in the most unflattering terms, mentioning programs that people are generally not willing to cut. As for tax increases, does anyone think Democrats wouldn’t just spend the money? But, really, there are no difficult choices.

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To start with, consider the way money is appropriated. Agencies ask for so much money. Let’s say The Federal Department of Nannyism asks for $30 billion for the fiscal year. They don’t really need $30 billion, but, they were appropriated $27 billion last year, and, as usual, they want more. In order to show they needed the $27b, they made sure to spend it all by purchasing large ticket items, paying too much for services, and just blowing what was left over on surplus. Congress says “cool, you spent it all, but, you don’t really need $30b, we’ll give you $29b.” And the whole thing repeats.

How about instead of giving so much, the DoN gets what they really need to operate, and, if they really need more, they can come back to Congress? It would force federal agencies to be more frugal and more responsible with The Peoples’ money.

Second, we can stop with wasteful spending, such as most of the Stimulus. We could cut out things like the $440,000 spent each year so Congress doesn’t have to press their own elevator buttons. $34 million spent by the Dept. Of Education to make people better shoppers? And here are $4.89 billion in wasteful projects, which include $2 million for miniature flying robot bees, Putting free WiFi, Internet kiosks and interactive history lessons in 2 Texas rest stops ($13.8 million), and a “Clown” theatrical production in Pennsylvania ($25,000). Here are 50 examples of government waste.

How about if the government stop bringing us silly ad campaigns via the Ad Council? I mean, do we really need

In a nationwide effort to reduce energy consumption, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and The Advertising Council launched a new series of public service announcements (PSAs) designed to inspire today’s youth and their parents with ways to establish positive energy efficiency practices.

Or all the other nannyism?

How about tanking the Endowment for the Arts? The Departments of Education and Agriculture, along with NASA, can be seriously reduced. How about we watch out for credit card abuse and embezzlement within federal agencies? We can stop paying contractors for cost overruns. They bid on the project for a certain amount, they can finish it for that amount. And, if they are not on time, penalize them. And don’t pay them till finished. Just like if you wanted, say, a shed or additional room built for your house.

Stop the majority of pork and earmarks. Do we really need $400,000 for construction and renovation for safety improvements at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and $1.8 million in swine odor and manure management research in Ames Iowa?

What are your recommendations?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach. Re-Change 2010!

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