Republicans are trying to restore some fiscal sanity by proposing modest spending cuts to rein in the $4.7 trillion budget, yet are being stymied by Democrats who cannot bear to see their pet programs trimmed. Here are the Top 10 Spending Cuts Thwarted by Democrats:
1. National Public Radio: The House voted to entirely defund public radio, but Democrats in the Senate are standing firm to protect “A Prairie Home Companion.” If the programming is so wonderful, why can’t it compete in the marketplace? And if there was ever any doubt about NPR’s left-wing bias, it was erased when a top NPR executive was caught on video, in a candid moment, talking about the racist Tea Partiers.
2. Internal Revenue Service: Republicans want to cut nearly $600 million from Obama’s budget for the IRS in order to prevent it from hiring the new agents needed to enforce ObamaCare rules. Obama wants a 9% budget hike for the tax collecting agency and 1,269 new positions to implement ObamaCare, with their likely focus being monitoring compliance with the individual mandate and collecting taxes from people who don’t have health insurance.
3. Amtrak: When Amtrak started in 1971, officials predicted it would break even by 1974. Forty years and tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies later, the train service is still bleeding red ink. Republicans want to cut $224 million from its budget, which could be accomplished by axing highly subsidized routes outside the Northeast Corridor. Things are so bad that even the renovation, with stimulus money, of Amtrak’s recently named Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station in Wilmington, Del., busted the budget by $5.7 million.
4. Environmental Protection Agency: Republicans want to cut billions from the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. Nothing could be better for the economy than to starve this agency, which is trying to regulate greenhouse gas emissions on its own after Congress failed to pass the cap-and-trade energy bill.
5. National Endowment for the Arts: In his first year in office, President Reagan tried to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts. If he had been successful, the U.S. taxpayer would not have been stuck with the bill for Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” blasphemy, Robert Mapplethorpe’s homoerotic photographs, or the performance art of Karen Finley, who smeared chocolate over her naked body. Democrats are fighting a Republican effort to merely return funding to 2007 levels.
6. National Endowment for the Humanities: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Republicans “mean-spirited” for seeking to cut the National Endowment for the Humanities’ budget. Reid pointed to the annual NEH-funded cowboy poetry festival in Nevada to justify the agency’s subsidy.
7. Planned Parenthood: Why is this merchant of death in the federal budget in the first place? As the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood makes more than $50 million a year in profits. With the federal budget in need of cutbacks, this one is a no-brainer.
8. Interior Department: Republicans want to cut $1.4 billion from the Interior Department to prevent it from implementing the Obama administration’s wilderness policy, which allows the agency to impose conservation restrictions on public lands without congressional approval. Democrats have long been conducting a “War on the West” by scaling back mining and forestry rights and wreaking havoc on local economies.
9. Legal Services Corporation: Long before Hillary Rodham was first lady (and before she started using her husband’s name), the Rose Law Firm lawyer was named by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the Legal Services Corporation board. During her tenure as chairwoman, she was able to triple the budget for the agency, which aids poor people with their legal problems. During Senate hearings at the time, she said that the LSC should challenge laws that were “unresponsive to the needs of the poor.” Obama wants to add $30 million to its budget, while the GOP wants to cut $100 million.
10. AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps pays young people to do work such as environmental cleanup and tutoring. Apparently, it also has time for political organizing, as several hundred AmeriCorps supporters recently protested GOP cuts to the program at a speech by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at Harvard University. The activists chanted, “One, two, three, four, we support AmeriCorps!” and “Eric Cantor, we want answers!” Here is an answer for the Ivy Leaguers: Let the marketplace, not the government, create jobs.