Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Eric Cantor Announces On Big Government GOP Plan To Cut Costs

Big Government had an article by Rep. Eric Cantor introducing a new program called YouCut. According to Cantor, it allows citizens to voice their opinions on what to cut from government to help curb spending, but in my opinion, Cantor is being manipulative, trying to make Americans feel included when in actuality, he is pulling the strings.

When I first read the article, I thought the concept was amazing - establish a forum for average Americans to give their opinions on what needs to be trimmed from the government, but then reality set in. The Republican's program isn't that democratic. Instead, the GOP will provide issues for people to vote on, and the winning issue would be called on by House Republicans for an up-or-down vote. This isn't any different from before - the GOP is telling voters what they think is best for them and then asking them to pick the best (or worst depending on how you see it) of the choices.

This is what Cantor lists as on the ballot for Americans to vote on:
1. Eliminate the Presidential Election Fund, a federal program that provides matching funds to political candidates during Presidential primaries, certain third-party candidates, and funds for political conventions. In the 2008 Presidential election the candidates raised over $1.3 billion from individuals and PACs; do they really need to supplement that with taxpayer money?

2. Prohibiting taxpayer-subsidized union activities by prohibiting federal employees from being paid by the government for performing union functions. Currently some federal employees spend up to 100% of their workweek, paid by taxpayers, doing work for their union. Federal employees unions collect millions in revenue each year and spend significant amounts on political activities and lobbying; should they also be subsidized by the taxpayer for their official functions?

3. Terminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development program that provides individuals with $25,000 stipends for completing their doctoral dissertations. Recently taxpayers have financed research on media strategies for housing policy and the use of eminent domain for urban redevelopment. Why should families who are struggling to pay for their children’s college also be asked to fund stipends from the government for those who want to write their dissertation on certain government-preferred policies?

4. Terminate the new alternative welfare program, recently created to incentivize states to increase their welfare caseloads without requiring able-bodied adults to work, get job training, or otherwise prepare to move off of taxpayer assistance. Reforming the welfare program was one of the great achievements of the Republican Congress in the mid 1990s, saving taxpayers billions of dollars and ending the cycle of dependency on welfare. This new program ushered in by Democrats is merely a backdoor way to undo those reforms.

5. Focus federal economic development assistance on areas of need. The Community Development Block Grant program currently funds a wide range of local economic development activities. While it is advertised as a way to help low-income communities, funds are also dispersed to communities with income well-above the national average. A recent study found that the community of Newton, Massachusetts, with a per capita income over twice the national average, was receiving $28 per person in CDBG funds. At the same time, other communities with income 25% below the national average were receiving $10 per person.
I would have rather preferred an open form to put my own two cents in, but I gather the Republicans are probably afraid that their base are too stupid to even follow the simple directions outlined by Fox News and their bevy of conservative propagandists...

YouCut is essentially another GOP push poll. What makes this push poll even worse is that they are using tax payer dollars to fund their propaganda.

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