It rather fascinates The Pink Flamingo how certain factions fall to the ground and nearly worships Paul Ryan for his laudable attempts to save money. The Pink Flamingo is among those who think his budgetary plan is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. In many ways it does nothing.
Then again there is Tom Coburn. One of the things The Pink Flamingo likes most about his speaking softly, not pandering to the cameras, and carrying a huge pair of scissors is his desire to eliminate duplicate programs. This would be one of the most important ways to save money, but even Ryan doesn’t have the good old wild west courage to cowboy up and get things done.
“…“You diffuse the debt bomb by doing three things — three critical things,” he said. “One is you reform the tax code. And you put back in place a pro-growth tax program where you flatten the rates. You broaden the base and you create an incentive for capital to be invested. We have $3 trillion sitting on the sideline that’s not being invested right now.
“The second thing you do is you eliminate the waste, duplication, and fraud that’s ongoing right now in the federal government,” he continued. “That buys you $3.5 trillion over 10 years, and then finally what you do is you markedly expand our natural resource base by utilizing our own energy.”..”
Want to talk about a true budget hawk, well just look at Coburn. He is truly attempting to do more than (not to) worship at the feet of Rand, but interject some reality into the mess in which this nation finds itself. He has a new book about his fears for this country.
This comes from someone who has worked their heart out for Tom Coburn, the way The Pink Flamingo did for Lindsey. Basically, they’re much the same – honorable, stodgy, decent, statesmen who care about this nation. It’s not about grandstanding for national posture – it’s about putting country first. Too bad we don’t have a heck of a lot more like them in DC.
“...It is members of both parties and any self righteous pundit who says it is only Democrats hasn’t been around the Government to observe first hand a conference, training, or demonstration that is hosted by the Government. The only reason this amendment was able to pass is the fact that the GSA finally went way overboard instead of just a little overboard as they have in the past. Having seen conferences hosted by the military and GSA up and close personal, this amendment is long past due. In fact, I hope that next year they will get another cut. The budgets for travel to conferences within DoD is a joke. Even when hosted by contractors or associations, it costs the Federal Government a lot to travel to a conference for example at the Disneyland Hotel with the cost of the hotel and everything else.
Went to one that was joint venture between the San Antonio Air Logistics Center and one of the associations run by contractors that cater to the the military. Couldn’t believe the lavish spread for lunch. Our son had a football game so no dinner but from the accounts of the people there, it was lavish as well. Know the budget of the depot for the event was pretty large and asked my husband how can they spend our taxpayer dollars on something like this since he was one of the people in charge. He tells me it is to further relations between the contractor and the depot. Rolling eyes!
Dr. Coburn once again is showing why in 2004 we worked so hard as the grassroots to send him to the Senate and why the establishment worked so hard to defeat him starting in the primary. We need more Senators like Dr. Coburn in the US Senate and more amendments like this one….”
“...Last year’s report identified 81 areas to make government more efficient. Congress and the Obama administration have implemented just four of those. There’s been some progress on 60 items, and no progress on 17.
“Eliminating duplicative spending should be the easy part,” said Coburn, but “Congress has done almost nothing to address problem areas GAO has already identified.”
It’s a bipartisan issue, said House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who will hold a hearing on the report Tuesday. “I have always said that the enemy isn’t the Democrats, the enemy isn’t the Republicans — it’s the bureaucracy.”
President Obama has made streamlining the government a priority, said Kenneth Baer, spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget. “Wasteful duplication of programs and overlap of effort has been around for a long time, as programs keep getting added without realizing what is already there.”
Baer said he couldn’t comment on specific findings because the report hadn’t been released. But he said the president has already proposed consolidating some grant programs — like the STEM education funding — in his 2013 budget. And Obama has asked Congress to give him fast-track authority to merge six agencies dealing with business and trade.
It also may take money to save money in the long term, as where offices have to be physically moved or more study needs to be done. “There may be some cost to doing it. Nothing is frictionless. Nothing is not without its effort,” Baer said. A fragmented and overlapping congressional committee system also contributes to the problem, budget hawks say.
“Members of Congress don’t get the headlines for fixing something,” said Tom Schatz of Citizens Against Government Waste. “They get headlines for creating something.” Federal agencies often justify the overlapping programs.
Agencies that do their own security assessments, for example, told GAO they had good reasons: The Internal Revenue Service said its “unique mission” justified additional security studies at 65 offices. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it wasn’t happy with the Federal Protective Service’s security risk ratings — even though they’re both part of the Department of Homeland Security. And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it follows security standards set by the military….”