And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Having Your Say about Spending Now!

Posted on: May 20, 2010

You may want to sign up for this program sponsored by   Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) .  It is called You Cut YouCut. and gives you the ability to give your opinion on proposed spending weekly.  I’m on it , I hope you will join me.  We the people need everything we can do to fight big spending and big government.  Brenda

I have copy the entire article below but you will have to click on YouCut. to become actively involved.  BB

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YouCut: Will Washington?

by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Last Wednesday, I announced on Big Government the launch of a new initiative that would enable taxpayers to directly propose federal spending cuts on the House floor. Today, over a quarter-million Americans will get to see whether their representatives in Congress share their specific fiscal priorities.

government-spending

For those who hunger to hold their elected officials accountable for perpetuating a culture of reckless runaway spending in Washington, meet YouCut.

This first-of-its-kind interactive initiative empowers taxpayers with direct democracy at a time when their faith in Congress’ fiscal prudence has reached its lowest. YouCut allows the public to vote each week on one of five wasteful spending items that they would like to strip from the federal budget. Once the votes are tallied, Republicans force a vote on whether or not to take up and debate the cut on the House floor.

During the first week, a plurality of voters – over 81,000! – chose to axe a recently created $2.5 billion annual welfare program that undercuts cost-saving welfare reforms made in the mid 1990’s.  Within 5 days of the experiment, 280,000 Americans have cast a vote either online or by text message.  At several points, more than 5,000 votes were being cast per hour, with less than one percent of votes originating from inside the beltway.

The overwhelming response speaks to the extreme levels of frustration that you feel toward a Congress that refuses to listen to you.  Over the last decade, taxpayers have grown weary of the incessant federal spending binges – no matter which party has been in power. They now look across the Atlantic with horror as Europe collapses under the weight of its own debt. Fear that America will go down the same road has only amplified calls for spending restraint.

Through YouCut, concerned citizens are cracking through the wall of resistance put up by big spenders in Washington to create a new culture of savings. This poses a threat to several in Congress who are invested heavily in preserving the status quo – hence the Democratic National Committee’s vigorous effort to discredit the program.  Worse, rather than listening to the hundreds of thousands of Americans, Tim Kaine (Chairman of the DNC) and Chris Van Hollen (Chairman of the DCCC) chose to mock the opinions of those who voted.  Not listening – a common theme for Democrats.

Driven by a new generation of young and energetic leaders, today’s GOP understands that we were fired from the majority because we abandoned the fiscal principles we had been sent to Washington to uphold. After two terms in the minority, we are eager to restore our reputation as responsible custodians of taxpayer money. It is this commitment to eliminate the prevailing wink-and-a-nod approach to unnecessary spending that spawned YouCut.

This week citizens can choose among the following items:

  1. Byrd Honors Scholarships ($42 million in savings in the first year -$420 million over ten years) Even the Obama Administration proposed terminating this program in their annual budget.  Surely Congress can too.
  2. Eliminate the Proposed Federal Employee Pay Raise (saves approximately $2 billion in the first year, $30 billion over ten years).  President Obama proposed providing federal civilian employees with a 1.4% pay raise next year. This year Federal employees received a 2% raise and since the year 2000 have received raises averaging 3.6% a year. USA Today recently reported that the typical federal worker is paid 20% more than a private-sector worker in the same occupation. This proposal would expand upon the just enacted legislation to prevent Members of Congress from receiving a pay raise and would not impact the scheduled pay raise for those serving in the military.
  3. Suspend Federal Land Purchases ($266 million in savings in the first year, $2.66 billion over ten years).  Last year Congress spent $266 million acquiring additional federal lands at the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, a 138% increase over the comparable amount of funding just four years ago. Given that the federal government already owns 29% of the land in America and has a multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog to maintain current land holdings, suspending new federal land would permit the government to focus on maintaining existing property while also saving taxpayers millions of dollars a year.
  4. Terminate Funding for UNESCO ($81 million in savings in the first year, $810 million over ten years).  Last year the administration proposed deleting the Department of Education’s attaché to UNESCO saving approximately $632,000 a year. Terminating U.S. support for UNESCO entirely would save taxpayers $81 million annually. The U.S. had not supported UNESCO for 19 years prior to the decision by the Bush Administration to rejoin in 2003. UNESCO routinely undertakes activities that are properly the responsibility of individual countries and their governments, including reviewing and making recommendations in areas related to education, arts, culture, ethics, science and technology, and historic preservation. UNESCO recently came under fire for their proposed International Guidelines for Sexuality Education.  Membership provides little benefit to American taxpayers in light of the overall cost.
  5. Eliminate Mohair Subsidies (approximately $1 million in savings in the first year, $10 million over ten years).  Federal price support for mohair was first enacted in 1947, and the National Wool Act of 1954 established direct payments for wool and mohair producers. The purpose was to encourage production of wool because it was considered an essential and strategic commodity.  According to the Congressional Research Service, no similar purpose was stated for the mohair program. While this program was phased out in 1995, ad hoc payments were provided in 1999 and 2000 and the program was reinstituted in 2002. Eliminating this program once again would save taxpayers approximately $1 million a year. (Also proposed as part of the RSC Sunset Caucus.)

Again, cutting any one these programs is not going to erase our debt or deficit in one shot.  But, it will begin to change the focus in Washington from spending to saving, from growing to cutting.  That’s why we need your help.

Please take just a few seconds to us in this effort. YouCut offers all Americans the ability to change the wasteful ways of Washington.  To be sure, 280,000 votes is a great number.  But to bring real change, rather than mere lip service, we need many more people to stand up and participate. The louder our voice, the harder it becomes for Speaker Pelosi to ignore.  Visit www.republicanwhip.house.gov/youcut to cast your vote now.

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