Time to Sober Up, AmericaApril 19, 2010 - 1:30 ET
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THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA: Absolutely, we need earmark reform. And when I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.
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Instead, he's doing nothing but adding to the budget — no subtracting whatsoever. He's added a trillion health bill, nearly a trillion dollar stimulus package and he's added massive tax increases.
So we decided to go through the budget line-by-line and make some necessary cuts. This week, we're working with the Cato Institute on the budget — I'm still putting my own plan together, but that won't be available until the fall. Without counting the cuts we've made in Social Security and Medicare, we've already found over $400 billion to trim from the budget.
All we need is commitment and common sense.
For instance, isn't it time to downsize the Department of Agriculture and limit or eliminate farm subsidies? We all love our farmers — they work incredibly hard and feed us and the world. But 70 percent of subsidies go to the largest 10 percent of corporate farms. These are gigantic farms receiving government subsidies. And, by the way, do you realize that even with all of these subsidies, America is no longer the world's breadbasket? How did that happen?
Take a look at HUD, the office of Housing and Urban Development — an agency rocked by scandal and corruption. We waste $65 billion a year on things like public housing and rental subsidies. We can no longer afford bloated, inefficient and ineffective governmental monoliths. We must stop relying on the government for food and housing; it's doing nothing but continuing to enslave more and more Americans with a dependency they may never break free of. Those without food and shelter need to be helped by their families, friends or local church groups.
Then there's the Department of Commerce — home to important institutions such as the Census Bureau (which, by the way, is now overseen by the White House) and the Patent and Trademark Office. It is also home to unneeded programs that subsidize businesses and fund local development projects. Further, the department administers misguided foreign trade policies that try to boost exports and restrict imports. The department will be spending $11.5 billion in 2011 or about $100 for every U.S. household. Do you even know what they do?
Is there anything not subsidized by the federal government anymore — other than Fox News and talk radio? Hmm, and look how successful both of those are. Coincidence?
We're always told by this group of radicals in the administration that the free market has — or is — failing. But the free market hasn't been attempted for decades!
Here are just a few examples of unbelievable waste being tolerated — just in from the group Citizens Against Government Waste. Remember, this is your money:
• $2.9 million for shrimp aquaculture research — it tastes good when dipped in cocktail sauce; what's the mystery?
• $2.5 million for potato research — is this to better understand our food, so that we can relate to it before swallowing it?
• $206,000 for wool research — let me help: it's hot and itchy
• $200,00 for lobster research — tastes good with hot butter: done!
• $7 million for the Robert C. Byrd Institute of Advanced Flexible Manufacturing Systems — what?
• $500,000 for exhibits at the Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids — what about the Serb, Croatian and Albanian exhibits? Don't we care about them?
• $250,000 for the I Won't Cheat Foundation in Salt Lake City for an anti-steroids education program and awareness campaign — because parents can't handle educating their kids about steroids?
But wait, there's more!
According to the Heritage Foundation, the government wasted $72 billion in improper payments; in 2008, $100 million was wasted by the Defense Department on unused flight tickets because it never bothered to collect refunds even though the tickets were refundable.
But fortunately, we were able to spend $2.6 million to train Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job. I mean, as you know, there's nothing more annoying than a Chinese prostitute who can't focus on the job at hand, because she's too liquored up. I think we all hate that.
This all has to stop! What are we insane?
Why would we take money from people in Minneapolis, send it to Washington, D.C., so that they can ship it to Alaska to build a bridge to nowhere? If Alaskans want a $250 million bridge to service 30 people, let them build it!
The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.
Our problem is that we have economic cancer. Now, had we addressed it when it was stage one — back when Reagan was in office — maybe we could have started out by changing our diet, had some localized treatment, phase in, over 10 years or so, some gradual changes.
Unfortunately, the tumor has grown large and spread to the lymph nodes — so now we need some radical treatment.
The White House says we're past the worst of it, yet they're proposing massive tax increases. I thought debt didn't matter? I thought we could grow our way out of this? But where would that growth come from? Auto manufacturing? Steel? Clothing? Apple products? Nope, those are made elsewhere too. Check your
Let's be honest with ourselves: We have a problem, America. We wanted to believe the lie. But now we have to sober up.
Yes, we'll all have to hurt with these changes I've shown you this week that have been proposed by Cato, but this cancer is deadly.
So now, what can we do? We need to cut spending and cut taxes.
I've shown you the economic reality that was put into place in the early 1960s of tying the world economies together to avoid world wars and nuclear holocaust: mutually assured economic destruction.
If Russia launched their missiles, we'd launch ours and we'd destroy each other. But there was also something else: All the other world governments would pressure us and the Russians not to go to war because our economies were tied together.
We must get out of the system — it's designed to collapse. How do we do it? We did it in 1920 — we cut spending and taxes. Yes, it will be painful. It will make us sick for a while, but in the end — like chemotherapy — it's the only way to save the patient.
Experts say there's a 10/80/10 model for people that are confronted with crisis: 10 percent respond by doing the wrong thing; 80 percent wait for someone to tell them what to do, while they do nothing; and 10 percent respond with purpose, plan and action.
You have to ask yourself which one are you? We must be the latter 10 percent.