Does Congress Feel Our Pain As They Waste Billions?
September is right around the corner, which means another budget confrontation looms near. Big-spenders in Washington are already beginning to claim that there is no way Congress can meet the spending limits they set for fiscal year (FY) 2014.
But the Heritage Foundation’s Patrick Louis Knudsen explains that Congress can cut spending for “a range of unnecessary, poorly run, or even harmful programs,” saving an additional $42 billion in FY 2014. Of course, much more can be saved by enacting real entitlement reform and defunding Obamacare; in fact, defunding Obamacare can save you trillions, literally. Congress should not pretend it is difficult to live within their means, though.
Knudsen produced a long list of programs that ought to be eliminated. Heritage Action has actively worked to ensure that wasteful programs are eliminated, because we believe in limited government and fiscal responsibility. They include:
- Title X Family Planning Grants, many of which go to abortion giant, Planned Parenthood
- Export-Import Bank, which backs loans to foreign companies – often times with a political agenda in mind, such as “climate control” — with taxpayer dollars
- Anachronistic 1930’s farm programs made irrelevant by today’s technology
- Amtrak, which is constantly losing money and should be privatized
- The non-essential Essential Air Services Program
- Education programs that place regulatory burdens and unnecessary costs on school systems while failing to improve education
- No Child Left Behind
- Head Start, a “failed relic of the Great Society”
- National Endowment for the Arts, which uses taxpayer dollars to fund concerts, readings, and performances, when the private sector is much better at fulfilling this role
Why is the government even in the family planning business — especially through Planned Parenthood — an organization that is being investigated for fraud and unsafe conditions by the Government Accountability Office? Why is it using taxpayer money to back loans for green energy companies in foreign countries? Why are the wealthiest farmers getting taxpayer funded crop insurance and other subsidies when they have better technology and more resources than farmers during any previous period in history?
What is the proper scope of the federal government?
In addition to adopting significant entitlement reforms, Congress must begin the process of re-evaluating the government’s functions, and terminating programs that government should not fund.
Congress should take note, and seriously ponder the question of the proper role of government.