My mom said this often when I was a kid. It’s simple and logical.
Over the holidays, we visited with family and I listened to arguments about why government should raise taxes. Apparently we don’t have enough money to pay for stuff government wants to do.
From an audit by the Treasury Inspector General: Individuals Who Are Not Authorized to Work in the United States Were Paid $4.2 Billion in Refundable Credits. “The payment of Federal funds through [the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), a refundable tax credit intended for working families] appears to provide an additional incentive for aliens to enter, reside, and work in the United States without authorization, which contradicts Federal law and policy to remove such incentives.”
From a Congressional Research Service Report: Through FY2009, Congress has provided approximately $2.5 billion for the Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine program. [GE/Rolls-Royce continued to receive funding to develop a jet engine, even though they lost the contract to Pratt-Whitney. They finally abandoned attempts to secure additional funds of $1.9 – $2.9 Billion to complete it.]
From a Government Accountability Office report: Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation could potentially save billions of tax dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services. [The report did not give an aggregate amount of potential savings, but Sen. Coburn’s office estimated at least $100 Billion in savings and notes that only a fraction of the federal budget fell under the scope of this study.]
Citizens Against Government Waste publishes an annual “Pig Book,” which highlights earmarks in the federal budget. For 2010, the “Pig Book” identified 9,129 projects at a cost of $16.5 Billion.
Politicians need angry voters, so they threaten and cut direct services such as law enforcement and teachers. Look at the efforts to avoid the automatic defense cuts that would have been triggered by the “sequestration” agreement. Politicians on both sides of the aisle were scrambling to piece together any deal to “save the Department of Defense from ruin.” How can they keep a straight face to threaten taking armor away from front-line troops while they authorize spending on a jet engine the Pentagon doesn’t want or need?
It seems to me that the federal government does not lack for funding, but for a lack of will to spend it efficiently and for the true general welfare, not just the benefit of their direct constituents. I wish the Occupy folks would recognize that our country’s financial situation is not the fault of people in the private sector who earn money, but the elected officials who waste it. The Tea Party understands this. They waste, so we want.
p.s. Just after I posted this Tuesday morning, a caller on the Davis and Emmer show said that his son’s unit, currently deployed, has not been issued any armor: “why isn’t there money to pay for it?” At a cost of $400 each (according to the caller), the money wasted on the alternative JSF engine ($2.5bn) would have purchased 6,250,000 pieces of personal armor. wow. just wow.