Yes, you heard that right. The Republicans in the House have established an website where you can go and vote on what Federal Programs should be cut. it's called, in a sheer stroke of genius, You Cut. This "brilliant" idea is being used to ramp up outrage about deficits among Americans by giving you a "voice" in decisions on what federal programs should get the axe. Funny, they have no website on whose taxes should be raised or which tax subsidies should be abolished. What a shocker, eh.
WASHINGTON — Like an inside-the-Beltway version of "American Idol," Republicans in the House of Representatives are taking the federal budget to the people, letting popular online votes determine which taxpayer-funded programs in Washington ought to get the ax.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia developed YouCut in the last Congress, but it didn't get too far in the Democratic-controlled House. This year, with the GOP in charge, things are different.
Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/...
You know, unfortunately the You Cut website limits your choices on what to cut. It only offers a few choices. Right now it lets you cast a vote on only three programs:
- The Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation (a whopping $60 Million in savings)
- U.S. Contributions to the Asian Development Fund ( a tad more - $356 Million)
- U.S. Contributions to the United Nations Population Fund - saves $400 Million)
In short its a brazen political stunt, meant to create anger at small Federal Programs while ignoring massive spending for some of the following:
- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (2011 cost: est. $158 BILLION)
- Wasteful programs like the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (aka the EFV) and the Surface Launch Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile System ($13 Billion)
- Farm subsidies for recipients with an Adjusted Gross Income > $500,00 (around $2.5 BILLION)
- Oil, Gas and Coal Subsidies (around $4 BILLION)
- Eliminate Royalty Free Drilling for oil and gas under Federal leases (est. $1.5 BILLION this year.
Personally, though, I'd like to vote on whether to eliminate all health care benefits for Congressmen. They currently receive coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which covers between 72% to 75% of the insurance costs depending on the insurance plan they choose. Congressional members also receive free free outpatient treatment at all US Military hospitals.
I know it's small potatoes compared to the other potential spending cuts that You Cut also doesn't list as budget items YOU can vote on, but I suggest that we all vote for the elimination of all taxpayer funded health benefits to Congress:
- Email (link to form on Rep Cantor's website) or
- Call Rep. Cantor's office (ph: 202.225.4000) .
Let them explore their free enterprise solutions on their own I say. After all, we pay them enough in salaries. I think they can afford to let the market determine what their health care costs should be, don't you? We are all Americans, We can all share the sacrifice to get this "raging budget deficit" under control, especially our highly compensated elected officials.
Oh, and if you want to mention anything else you might like to see cut from our federal budget, such as the items listed above in this diary, or anything else that strikes your fancy, feel free to mention that too. Rep. Cantor requested our feedback on the Federal Budget. We should give it to him, if you know what I mean.