(Artwork by Jason Zoglmann)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently said that the federal cupboard is bare when asked about cutting deficit spending instead of raising the debt ceiling once again.
Now bless her heart I'm sure Mrs. Pelosi truly believes that because she's never seen a government program that she didn't want to start (if it would buy her votes).
Nor has there ever existed a government program, even if proved to be a failure (which would mean most), that she would be willing to cut.
I once actually had a pleasant conversation with Nancy Pelosi on the phone and so let's just say this blog post is my way of returning her nice call. I want to help the former Speaker of the House and any other legislator who believes the cupboard is bare.
Trust me sister, thar's plenty pork that can be cut.
The good folks at Citizen's Against Government Waste annually publish their Prime Cuts Summary of government programs that could be easily cut from the federal government. Here's a quick rundown of that summary:
(The savings would be over a 5-year period)
Cut $61.76 billion from Department of Agriculture subsidies
Cut $785 million from the Commerce Department by eliminating the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Cut $18 billion from the Department of Defense in unnecessary and unrequested spending
Cut $2.3 billion from the Department of Energy by privatizing two federal utilities programs
Cut $24 billion from Health and Human Services Department by eliminating 50% of improper Medicare payments
Cut $18 billion from Department of Housing and Urban Development by eliminating the Community Development Block Grants and Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks America)
Cut over $2 billion from the Interior Department by suspending federal land purchases and eliminating Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Recreation Grants
Cut nearly $7 billion from the Justice Department in community grants
Cut $6.45 billion from the Labor Department by repealing the Davis-Bacon Act and ending OSHA's Harwood Grants
Cut $7.85 billion from the Transportation Department by ending subsidies for Amtrak and ending the Essential Air Service (EAS). EAS is a prime example of a temporary program that has morphed into a monster.
Save $730 million by having the Treasury Department switching from paper $1 bills to coins.
Further cuts could be realized by eliminating the following worthless programs:
AmeriCorps - $3.5 billion; Legal Services Corporation - $2.1 billion; National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts - $1.7 billion
And my favorite cut of all! We could save $9.6 billion over the next five years just by reducing by 25% our support to the United Nations, which means we would save $38.4 billion if we just stop supporting it altogether and throw them out of our country.
So you see Dear Nancy, while you may not think cutting $165 billion in pork is not much, it would at least be a good faith act on the part of Congress.
Then there's the repeal of ObamaCare...