Is That The Best Democrats Can Do?
Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its Continuing Resolution that would fund government through the end of the 2011 Fiscal Year, ending September 30. While Democrats have pledged to meet House Republicans "halfway," their version of a seven month funding measure comes nowhere close. The House-passed CR cuts over $60 billion in spending – the Senate Democrat version cuts a paltry $10 billion, preserving the bloated spending status quo.
It is particularly unbelievable that, after refusing to pass a budget and forcing government to operate on stop-gap funding measures for the first five months of the fiscal year, Senate Democrats refuse to offer significant spending cuts. While Senate leadership has been quick to quip their plan includes “commonsense cuts,” Democrats have all but ignored the billions in savings reported by GAO this week which could easily be realized by simply eliminating redundancies in the federal government, such as:
- Convoluted distribution of federal highway dollars, spanning five different agencies and 100 different programs within the Department of Transportation, costs taxpayers $58 billion a year
- Nine different federal agencies host 47 different job training programs at the cost of $18 billion each year
- The government uses only a handful of the over 2,000 data centers it runs; consolidating centers could net $200 billion in savings over the next decade
- 18 programs exist that focus on food and nutrition assistance, costing over $62 billion annually
- 80 initiatives exist under the dubious charter of “economic development” programs, costing $6.5 billion and spanning four different agencies
“Like an addict who can’t kick the habit, Democrats refuse to acknowledge their overspending problem,” said Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. “The GAO practically handed lawmakers over $100 billion in savings that could be realized in simple streamlining reforms. House Republicans have offered over $100 billion in common sense cuts in their CR. That Senate Democrats could only muster the courage for $10 billion in savings is telling; if this is the best they can do, taxpayers certainly deserve better.”