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"Senseless, irresponsible" is how Rep. Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, described the request. Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, asserted that "our job is not to react to requests that have no basis in reality." What in the world was this odd request?
To search the federal budget for waste, fraud and abuse.
As part of the 2004 federal budget, the House and Senate Budget Committees asked each congressional committee to examine the entitlement programs under its discretion. The modest goal was to identify 1 percent of entitlement spending as waste, fraud or abuse. Committees were asked to report their findings to Congress by Sept. 2, 2003.
Less than half of the congressional committees bothered to submit their findings by the deadline. The contempt both parties displayed toward this request exemplifies Congress' institutional bias against saving taxpayer dollars.
The Democrats' approach has been to deny the existence of government waste. A high-ranking appropriations official recently claimed cutting waste is impossible because every entitlement dollar goes to a legitimate recipient. In other words, not a dollar is lost to administrative waste or efficiencies, and no one is cheating federal programs. Such nonsense is the product of political spin: Deny the existence of government waste, then tell seniors and veterans that mean-spirited budget cutters are gunning for their Medicare and veteran's benefits. That message is as powerful as it is misleading.
Yet Republicans deserve even more blame...
More at the link. For example, how many of you knew that in 2003, US federal spending will reach $21,000 per household, up from $16,000 just four years ago? I dunno if that's been adjusted for inflation, but in the last four years inflation has been almost zero anyway. Note this is just federal spending -- you still have to toss state and county and municipal spending onto the stack.
Another tidbit -- medicare overpayments top $12 billion annually. Medicare also pays up to 8 times the price that other agencies pay for the same drugs and medical supplies.
Quote: A high-ranking appropriations official recently claimed cutting waste is impossible because every entitlement dollar goes to a legitimate recipient.
-------------------- You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers
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