“Plenty of Pork for Congress to Cut”
Editorial from the American Press (Lake Charles, LA)
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Washington politicians often give people the impression that the federal budget is difficult to cut without throwing grandma out of her wheelchair. But the nonpartisan cost-cutting group Citizens Against Government Waste regularly give examples of where cuts can be made without drastically harming vulnerable people.
The organization recently evaluated two appropriations bills in the House of Representatives, Agriculture and Financial Services, and found that while budget-cutting progress is being made, it has additional recommendations for saving money.
In the 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Act, the report found, “There are seen earmarks in the bill worth $56,750,000. This represents a 96% decrease from the 192 projects in FY 2011 and a 61% decrease in cost from the FY2011 amount to $143,890,000. The bill allocates $125.5 billion for the Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and other agencies, which is $7 billion below the President’s budget request. This total reflects a $2.7 billion reduction in discretionary spending and a $3 billion increase in mandatory funding from FY 2011.”
Tom Schatz, the group’s president, said, “The overall bill moves in the right direction, but there are still some scraps of bacon that need to be eliminated. We cannot afford to allow any taxpayer funds to be squandered.”
He gave the following examples of pork in the Agriculture bill:
*$40 million for Boll Weevil eradication.
*$4 million for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Research and Education Activities for animal health and disease research.
*$2.25 million for the Delta Regional Authority
In the Financial Services Appropriations Act for 2012, the group found the bill “provides $19.9 billion in funding for the Treasury Department, the Executive Office of the President, the Judiciary, the district of Columbia, the Small Business Administration, the General Services Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and several other independent agencies. The bill’s cost to taxpayers is 9% less than FY 2011 and 22.5% less than the President’s request.”
On this bill, Schatz said, “The Prime Cuts database gives the public, the President, and Congress a very straightforward list of wasteful, duplicative, and outdated programs drawn from more than two dozen credible sources.”
Here are other cuts CAGW recommends:
*Eliminate the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund for $6 million savings for one year and $165 million savings over five years.
*Eliminate funding for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. which can continue to operate from its endowed trust fund, for a savings of $1 million in one year and $5 million over five years.
*Eliminate the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program for $227 million for one year and $1.22 billion over five years.
The Prime Cuts database, found at http://www.cagw.org, has 691 cost cutting recommendations.
Don’t be fooled by Washington politicians who use scare tactics when it comes to budget cutting. There should be no difficulty cutting waste, fraud and abuse from the federal budget.