Washington is looking more and more like American Idol, minus the longevity of solid approval ratings and the Sinatra renditions. The new Simon Cowell is less British and more southern and strongly resembles House Minority Whip Eric Cantor. The hopefuls are no longer unknown singers with an itch for fame but government programs with a disease for spending. And if you don’t like the sound of them, text your vote “no”.
That’s “You Cut”, a program designed by the House Republican Economic Working Group that opens government spending cut options to the up or down approval of voters via the Internet. It’s interactive, it’s about voter involvement, and it’s about dang time.
“It allows YOU to vote, both online and on your cell phone, on spending cuts that you want to see the House – YOUR HOUSE – enact. That’s right, instead of Washington telling YOU how THEY will spend YOUR money, YOU can tell THEM how to save it,” said Cantor, in an exclusive article on Breitbart’s Big Government site.
The initiative launched this week offers five government spending programs which can be voted on via internet or text. The winner will be announced on Monday, May 17, and given a simple “up-or-down vote” by the House Republicans.
The following week, the cycle repeats and continues until the end of the year.
It won’t balance the budget. Not yet. Cantor isn’t touting the belief it will, saying the deficit problems won’t be solved overnight or with “one silver bullet.”
Allapundit at HotAir says, “I am, shall we say, skeptical.” Allapundit usually is, shall we say, skeptical. And with good reason. The cuts are small. Government spending is big. And, usually, never the twain shall meet.
But Cantor says “this is not the same GOP as it was a few years ago” and this is one move to prove it. YouCut won’t be the silver bullet. But it changes the tide. It reverses the runaway barge of unchecked spending taking the nation toward the horizon where eventually we’ll reach the end of debt flexibility, and like the idea of a flat earth, fall off the edge of the world.
YouCut is designed to create an open communication between voters and their Republican constituents, showing their Congressional representatives where they don’t want their taxpayer money spent. It’s a way, Cantor says, to alter the “culture of spending”.
Here are the first five programs, via Cantor at BigGovernment:
1. Presidential Election Fund. $260 million
This program matches funds to political candidates and conventions during Presidential primaries, a program apparently more important than funding a $50 million DC Voucher program, a successful program, that provided 3,300 low-income children with a better education. Democrats killed the voucher program last year yet funding for political candidates and conventions remain. As Cantor explains, during 2008 the candidates raised $1.3 billion from donations and PACs. And they need $260 million in taxpayer money, too?
I think not.
2. Taxpayer-subsidized union activities. $600 million
Some federal employees are spending 100% of their taxpayer funded time working for their union. According to Cantor, federal employee unions are doing just fine collecting their revenue and lobbying. In fact, all unions are doing fine. And when they aren’t, Obama simply bails them out. Big kiss to UAW.
That could go.
3. HUD doctoral dissertation stipend. $1 million
In case you didn’t know it, you pay $25,000 stipends to people who want to write their dissertation on government policies. And they aren’t all your children.
4. New non-reform Welfare Program. $2.5 billion
The new program encourages states to increase their welfare numbers without requiring able-bodied adults to work, get job training or prepare to move off taxpayer assistance. It incentivized a permanent welfare state. Cantor explains, “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. Eliminate wealthier communities from CDBG. $2.6 billion
It’s suppose to help low-income communities. But like all government programs, it leaks like a sieve. Money is also being given to communities with no income need. For example, Cantor says, the community of Newton, Massachusetts with a per capita income over twice the national average receives $28 per person in CDBG money. “At the same time, other communities with income 25% below the national average were receiving $10 per person,” Cantor said.
Government. Can’t live with it. Can’t…hmmm.
To vote on You Cut announced by Eric Cantor, visit http://www.republicanwhip.house.gov/YouCut.