Being old…er…I can remember then-Consumer Advocate David Horowitz’s regular visits of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, in which he would speak about government spending and other associated rip-offs. Johnny would shake his head and laugh in disbelief over the poor choices made by those that we had chosen to be stewards over our hard-earned money. David Horowitz has gone on to accomplish other things, but the spirit of his early work lives on.
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) yesterday announced his annual report, “Wastebook 2011.”
This reports brings to light over $6.5 billion in examples of just some of the most teeth-grinding ways the Federal Government has spent our money.
“Video games, robot dragons, Christmas trees, and magic museums. This is not a Christmas wish list, these are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars. Over the past 12 months, politicians argued, debated and lamented about how to reign in the federal government’s out of control spending. All the while, Washington was on a shopping binge, spending money we do not have on things we do not absolutely need. Instead of cutting wasteful spending, nearly $2.5 billion was added each day in 2011 to our national debt, which now exceeds $15 trillion,” Dr. Coburn said.
“Congress cannot even agree on a plan to pay for the costs of extending jobless benefits to the millions of Americans who are still out of work. Yet, thousands of millionaires are receiving unemployment benefits and billions of dollars of improper payments of unemployment insurance are being made to individuals with jobs and others who do not qualify. And remember those infamous bridges to nowhere in Alaska that became symbols of government waste years ago? The bridges were never built, yet the federal government still spent more than a million dollars just this year to pay for staff to promote one of the bridges.”
Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2011” include:
• $75,000 to promote awareness about the role Michigan plays in producing Christmas trees & poinsettias.
• $15.3 million for one of the infamous Bridges to Nowhere in Alaska.
• $113,227 for video game preservation center in New York.
• $550,000 for a documentary about how rock music contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
• $48,700 for 2nd annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival, to promote Hawaii’s chocolate industry.
• $350,000 to support an International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy.
• $10 million for a remake of “Sesame Street” for Pakistan.
• $35 million allocated for political party conventions in 2012.
• $765,828 to subsidize “pancakes for yuppies” in the nation’s capital.
• $764,825 to study how college students use mobile devices for social networking.
Given the frivolous nature of the different projects that this Administration has come up with in order to spend our money, methinks President Barack Hussein Obama doth protest too much, concerning the following impasse:
In a surprise visit to the White House briefing room to demand House Republicans compromise on a two-month payroll tax cut extension — a demand that was promptly rejected — President Obama said Tuesday that the Senate legislation “is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on January 1st.”
“It’s the only one,” Obama said shortly after the House voted to effectively reject a Senate measure to extend the payroll tax cut for two months.
Speaking minutes later at a press conference with dozens of GOP members behind him, House Speaker John Boehner said the House has already taken up the Senate bill, which only gives a $166 tax break to Americans, and opted instead for a bill that gives $1,000 to contributors to the Social Security fund.
“We rejected the Senate bill and we moved to go to conference,” he said. “We’ve done our work for the American people, now it’s up to the president and the Senate to do their work as well.”
House Republicans are insisting on a year-long extension of the break and want to force the Senate to return to Washington to hammer out a compromise. The House voted 229-193 on partisan lines to call for a meeting of lawmakers to blend the House version of the bill with a Senate bill that passed 89-10 on Saturday.
In a letter to Obama sent as the House was preparing to vote, Boehner wrote that the House version is exactly what the president had requested — a year-long payroll tax holiday as well as an extension of unemployment insurance for a year and a “doctor fix” that would prevent doctors paid by Medicare from losing 27 percent of their payments.
“You have said that providing Americans anything less than a full year of tax relief and UI benefits would be inexcusable. We agree,” he wrote, adding that with 11 days left in the year, there’s plenty of time to get the conference done even if it means working through the holidays.
“I ask you to call on the Senate to return to appoint negotiators so that we can provide the American people the economic certainty they need,” he said.
But Obama said a “faction” of Republicans in the House “are refusing to even vote on a Senate bill,” and their refusal means 160 million “Americans could face a tax hike in just 11 days.”
“I’m calling on the speaker to bring up the Senate bill for a vote,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he won’t renew bargaining until the House approves the Senate’s short-term measure, and senators have already returned home for the holiday break.
So, let me get this straight:
1. The president is upset over the cost to American taxpayers if the tax cuts are not extended.
2. However, the prez ‘s political underlings in the Senate only extended the cut for 2 months, while Boehner and the Republicans want to extend it for a year.
3. Obama is upset that the House Republicans did not pass the Senate’s bill, which will lead to an automatic tax hike in January,putting the monkey back on the Democrats’ back to pass a year-long extension, leading up to the inauguration of the next president in 2013.
Sounds good to me.
Hey, Mr. President, here’s a message for your fellow Democrats, using the same words back you used in your failed attempt to force your “American Jobs Bill” down our throats:
Pass the bill!