Video: Barack Obama stars in “Sequestrageddon”
In spite of the fact that the sequester was his idea, Barack Obama spent weeks trying to scare America into believing that the sky would fall if sequestration cuts happened. So dramatic, so dire were his warnings that Hollywood decided to make a movie version . . .
Those who have been paying attention know that . . .
The sequestration cuts amount to three cents on the dollar.
That’s just not that much.
Federal spending has more than doubled since the Clinton years.
What, we can’t find three percent to cut in a budget that is three trillion dollars larger than it was a decade ago? Was the federal government dangerously underfunded a decade ago?
The cuts won’t even reduce overall spending; they’ll just reduce the rate of growth.
Are they serious? A reduction in the rate of growth of a budget that is larger than it has ever been in peacetime in U.S. history is cause for this much alarm and fear mongering?
In the end, however, the most salient fact may simply be this:
There is plenty of wasteful spending to cut before leaping straight to laying off first responders and mothballing aircraft carriers.
Mr. President, before furloughing FBI agents and laying off teachers, why not consider some of these?
The $42 billion that is being dumped into a failed rail system.
The $14 billion in job benefit overpayments.
The $460 million in food stamps given to people who don’t actually qualify for them.
The $18 billion in waste uncovered by a Senate audit.
The $1.2 million given to . . . wait for it . . . PepsiCo (not exactly a struggling corporation).
Or how about these choice nuggets from Heritage:
- A reality TV show in India. The Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program spends $200 million a year to help U.S. agricultural trade associations and cooperatives advertise their products in foreign markets. In 2011, it funded a reality TV show in India that advertised U.S. cotton.
- Studying pig poop. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $141,450 grant under the Clean Air Act to fund a Chinese study on swine manure and a $1.2 million grant to the United Nations for clean fuel promotion.
- Amtrak snacks. Federally subsidized Amtrak lost $84.5 million on its food and beverage services in 2011 and $833.8 million over the past 10 years. It has never broken even on these services.
- Using military exercises to boost biofuels. The U.S. Navy bought 450,000 gallons of biofuels for $12 million—or almost $27 per gallon—to conduct exercises to showcase the fuel and bring it closer toward commercialization. It is the largest biofuel purchase ever made by the government.
- Conferences for government employees. In 2008 and 2009 alone, the Department of Justice spent $121 million to host or participate in 1,832 conferences.
- “RoboSquirrel.” $325,000 was spent on a robotic squirrel named “RoboSquirrel.” This National Science Foundation grant was used to create a realistic-looking robotic squirrel for the purpose of studying how a rattlesnake would react to it.
- Cupcakes. In Washington, D.C., and elsewhere across the country, cupcake shops are trending. The 10 cupcake shop owners who received $2 million in Small Business Administration loan guarantees, however, can only boast so much of their entrepreneurial ingenuity, since taxpayers are backing them up.
- Food stamps for alcohol and junk food. Though they were intended to ensure hungry children received healthy meals, taxpayer-funded food stamps were instead spent on fast food at Taco Bell and Burger King; on non-nutritious foods such as candy, ice cream, and soft drinks; and on some 2,000 deceased persons in New York and Massachusetts. Food stamp recipients spent $2 billion on sugary drinks alone. Improper SNAP payments accounted for $2.5 billion in waste, including to one exotic dancer who was making $85,000 per year.
- Beer brewing in New Hampshire. Despite Smuttynose brewery’s financial success and popularity, it is still getting a $750,970 Community Development Block Grant to build a new brewery and restaurant facilities.
- A covered bridge to nowhere. What list of government waste would be complete without a notorious “bridge to nowhere”? In this case, it’s $520,000 to fix the Stevenson Road Covered Bridge in Green County, Ohio, which was last used in 2003.
And so many more . . .
In fact, the Heritage foundation has found $150 billion in cuts to offset sequestration. That’s billion with a b.
But Barack Obama isn’t listening. He’s been too busy using first responders as props and children as human shields in his efforts to score political points.
Or maybe he’s just angling for a new career in Hollywood when he’s done playing president . . . because what he’s been peddling has been pure fiction.
Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including AnyStreet.org (now a part of Western Free Press) and Liberatchik.com. He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to WesternFreePress.com.
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