Let’s break out the chainsaws – 5 programs the GOP can cut today

by Chris Wysocki | January 8, 2011 2:44 pm

I want to give Speaker John Boehner the benefit of the doubt. Really, I do. But it’s hard when he fumbles the gimmes[1] like he did in an interview with Brian Williams of NBC News.

WILLIAMS: Name a program right now that we could do without.

BOEHNER: I don’t think I have one off the top of my head.

Dude. You’re on national television and you can’t name one useless government program? Tell me again why we elected you Speaker?

I’m no career politician but I can come up with 5 things to cut without breaking a sweat. Here goes…

1. Ethanol subsidies: $6 billion.[2] Ethanol is a total boondoggle that exists solely because Archer Daniels Midland has great lobbyists. It’s inefficient to produce, costs more than gasoline, and even the econuts agree it won’t do anything to curb global warming. Shut it down.

2. Department of Education: $63.7 billion.[3] This cabinet level post did not even exist prior to 1979. The federal government has no Constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula. None. But that didn’t stop Jimmy Carter from creating a vast bureaucracy to funnel gobs of cash at his buddies in the teachers unions. Yet all that money hasn’t improved test scores one bit. Shut it down[4].

3. Welfare: $888 billion.[5] FY 2011 Welfare spending will exceed the entire eight year cost of the Iraq war under President Bush ($622 billion[6]). So go ahead, tell me how it’s military spending which is breaking the bank. For my money I say a modest 5% cut in welfare spending ($44 billion) isn’t unreasonable. Heck, the fraud and abuse alone probably exceeds 5%.

4. Sell off excess federal real estate: $250 billion.[7] The federal government owns more than 14,000 unused buildings. The Heritage Foundation estimates that it costs taxpayers $25 billion a year simply to maintain these unused properties. Let’s embark on a 10 year sell-off thereby saving us at least that much every year.

5. NEA[8] and PBS[9]: $584 million. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is a luxury which we cannot afford. The hippy-dippy artsy-fartsy crowd needs to start paying their own way. The taxpayers aren’t Medici Popes who need to commission grand monuments to their legacy. Ditto for public broadcasting. Maybe it made sense back when there were 3 networks and limited choice of media. But in today’s Internet world there is no need for the federal government to subsize Big Bird. While we’re cutting why not also ax the National Endowment for the Humanities and save another $140 million.

And for grins, let’s throw in a 6th which I just read about this morning.

6. Irish Government Bailout: $5 billion.[10] Seriously? The American taxpayer is bailing out Ireland? I don’t recall anybody stepping up to bail us out. Ever. Every time the Euroweenies get in trouble it seems like it’s Uncle Sam who has to ride to the rescue. But they still look down their noses at us! It’s past time for Europe to stand on its own 2 feet.

Total cuts? Just a wee bit under $145 billion. It really wasn’t that hard.

The Heritage Foundation goes even further, proposing more than $343 billion in cuts[11].

So Mister Speaker, what will it be? Can we count on you to provide the leadership this country so sorely needs?


Cross-posted[12] from WyBlog.us[13].:  Follow me on Twitter @WyBlog[14].

  1. he fumbles the gimmes: http://theothermccain.com/2011/01/07/if-john-boehners-lost-nick-gillespie/
  2. Ethanol subsidies: $6 billion.: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2629729/posts
  3. Department of Education: $63.7 billion.: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/index.html
  4. Shut it down: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/229936/wanting-abolish-department-education-not-radical/mona-charen
  5. Welfare: $888 billion.: http://theblogprof.blogspot.com/2011/01/it-begins-as-entitlements-grow-pentagon.html
  6. $622 billion: http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RL33110_20090515.pdf
  7. Sell off excess federal real estate: $250 billion.: http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1110/110310cc1.htm
  8. NEA: http://www.arts.gov/news/news09/2010-nea-budget-request.html
  9. PBS: http://biggovernment.com/wshughart/2010/12/24/public-broadcasting-subsidy-unnecessary-and-irrational/
  10. Irish Government Bailout: $5 billion.: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/US-taxpayers-will-contribute-5-billion-to-Irish-bailout-113062514.html
  11. proposing more than $343 billion in cuts: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/10/how-to-cut-343-billion-from-the-federal-budget
  12. Cross-posted: http://wyblog.us/blog/gop/lets-break-out-the-chainsaws.html
  13. WyBlog.us: http://wyblog.us/blog
  14. @WyBlog: http://twitter.com/wyblog

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