By: Peggy Venable, State Director
As we face the fiscal cliff, Congress should not raise taxes. We need to cut spending! Congress does not appear to be able to do it themselves, so I will start this process. I’ll put one federal spending cut on the table every day.
Day #1: Let’s start with this: Cut fruitless research — in 2012, Congress spent nearly $1 million to see if a male fruit fly would be more attracted to an older female fruit fly than a younger one, or vice versa. We work hard to earn those tax dollars that Congress is spending frivolously.
Day #2: We can cut federal spending! Your tax dollars paid for this: A government-funded study on how golfers might benefit from using their imagination, envisioning the hole is bigger than it actually is – cost: $350,000. (Friends, most men I know have no problem imagining things are bigger than they actually are.). Congress: don’t raise taxes. Cut spending!
Day #3: Moroccan pottery classes (part of a $27 million grant from U.S. Agency for International Development).
Day #4: It’s ironic that a symbol of our great American government, Abraham Lincoln, is emblazoned on what has become an object lesson for government failure. In 2011 alone it cost the United States $69 million to mint the penny…two and one half times the face value of the coin. That doesn’t even include the personnel and equipment required to waste an increasing amount of government money. In its way, the penny serves as a microcosm of government inefficiency, returns not proportionate with investment. It might not seem like a large amount of money compared to the trillion dollar deficits run in Washington these days, but unless we begin with efficiency in the small things, the big will never follow.
Day #5: Sen Tom Coburn found that eliminating Department of Defense spending that has nothing to do with defending the nation could save taxpayers $67.9 billion over the next 10 years. Who would defend that?
Day #6: Let’s identify and cut waste in the food stamp program, including an exotic dancer who collected $1,000 a month in food stamps while earning $85,000 a year as a stripper (while writing off on her taxes “cosmetic enhancements” somehow related to her profession)
Day #7: Government- funded research leaves taxpayers thinking government is squirrelly…$325,000 to create a “Robosquirrel” to test the interaction between a fake squirrel and a real snake.
Day #8: $100,000 to send a comedy troupe on a tour of India…who is laughing now?
Day #9: We urge Congress to pull the plug on wind energy subsidies and allow the Federal wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) to expire at the end of 2012. By doing that (which is consistent with current law) and not including an extension of the PTC in a package of tax extenders, we can save billions.
According to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), a one-year extension of the PTC would cost American taxpayers over $12 billion. The PTC should be allowed to expire because it has served its purpose to “jumpstart” the development of wind energy in the United States, and skews competitive wholesale electricity markets, thereby distorting investment decisions for more reliable sources of electricity.
Let’s face it, folks, we have invested in green energy. We should now allow the market to work.
And while we oppose subsidies, it’s time for Congress to admit – we can’t afford them!