Heaven forbid we cut funding to programs that are laden with fraud and abuse.<quoted text>Exactly.
They wanted targeted cut cuts that actually help Americans.
Shrinking the federal SNAP (food stamp) program.
Canceling the Home Affordable Modification Program
Eliminating the $11.4 billion public-health fund in the Affordable Care Act
Trimming the Social Services Block Grant program (which funds, among other things, Meals on Wheels for seniors.)
Cuts to the DOT.
The bill also would have defunded some of the financial regulatory reforms passed in 2010. It would have slashed funding to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.(Of course)
As well as NO tax increases and no cuts for the military.
On a related note:
Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money over the past two years to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams.
But senior Army officials have said repeatedly, "No thanks."
It's the inverse of the federal budget world these days, in which automatic spending cuts are leaving sought-after pet programs struggling or unpaid altogether.
Yet in the case of the Abrams tank, there's a bipartisan push to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon the experts explicitly say is not needed.
If there's a home of the Abrams, it's politically important Ohio. The nation's only tank plant is in Lima. So it's no coincidence that the champions for more tanks are Rep. Jim Jordan and Sen. Rob Portman, two of Capitol's Hill most prominent deficit hawks.
"The one area where we are supposed to spend taxpayer money is in defense of the country," said Jordan, whose district in the northwest part of the state includes the tank plant.
Congressional backers of the Abrams upgrades view the vast network of companies, many of them small businesses, that manufacture the tanks' materials and parts as a critical asset that has to be preserved. The money, they say, is a modest investment that will keep important tooling and manufacturing skills from being lost if the Abrams line were to be shut down.
The Lima plant is a study in how federal dollars affect local communities, which in turn hold tight to the federal dollars. The facility is owned by the federal government but operated by the land systems division of General Dynamics, a major defense contractor that spent close to $11 million last year on lobbying, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Jordan, a House conservative leader who has pushed for deep reductions in federal spending, supported the automatic cuts known as the sequester that require $42 billion to be shaved from the Pentagon's budget by the end of September. The military also has to absorb a $487 billion reduction in defense spending over the next 10 years, as required by the Budget Control Act passed in 2011.
Still, said Jordan, it would be a big mistake to stop producing tanks.
"Look,(the plant) is in the 4th Congressional District and my job is to represent the 4th Congressional District, so I understand that," he said. "But the fact remains, if it was not in the best interests of the national defense for the United States of America, then you would not see me supporting it like we do."
That is the best thing that could happen to this country.