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Government addiction to spending and waste are the problem with national debt

When I wrote about the issues that I believe are critical for the NY-22 and the nation in 2014, I included the national debt and deficit. I stated,

“So not only do we need a real budget, we need a budget that is realistic in containing the Government to spending levels that are effective.”

I was speaking about the $17 trillion in debt that continues to grow every minute. I was speaking about Congress, and their unwillingness to stop spending more deficit money than dozens of countries combined can earn in a single year. A refusal to seriously address a problem that has only one clear path – becoming Greece or worse. I also offered my solution, freezing the budget at current levels while cutting spending 10% across the board.

But I had no idea at the time that the solution could even more simple than that, according to Sen. Coburn.

Government spending is not just a Democrat issue, though the current Administration has done more to burden the nation in 4 years than almost all prior Administrations combined. It’s a Republican issue too, as the Ryan-Murray deal highlights: the limits of the Sequester have been thrown away, to be addressed by some other Congress 10 years from now, if ever.

Sen. Tom Coburn said it as clearly as it can be stated,

“Most members of Congress are more interested in getting themselves re-elected than they are in fixing what’s wrong with the country.”

He also said,

“The nearly $30 billion in questionable and lower-priority spending in Wastebook 2013 is a small fraction of the more than $200 billion we throw away every year through fraud, waste, duplication and mismanagement. There is more than enough stupidity and incompetence in government to allow us to live well below the budget caps. What’s lacking is the common sense and courage in Washington to make those choices — and passage of fiscally-responsible spending bills — possible.”

The Wastebook that the Senator refers to is a compilation of some of the most useless, nonsensical, and pork-barrel of deficit spending that our Government engages in. Willfully enforced by Congress, to enable members of Congress to maintain their positions of power (almost as if they were a nobility) without concern for constituents or the fiscal future of the nation.

Examples of the wasted money that the US spent in 2013 alone, that in total exceeded the combined GDP (2012) of Jamaica and Iceland combined:

  • NASA gave a $124,955 grant to Arjun Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a small company hoping to build a 3-D pizza printer.
  • The State Department spent $630,000 to attract followers to its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • $50 million to National Technical Information Services, an agency that charges for reports that often can be found for free through a Google search.
  • $65 million has been used by New York and New Jersey for tourism ads while only one person in Staten Island, as of October, received housing assistance despite passing a bill in January to provide $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy relief.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities in celebrating the 75th anniversary of the debut of Superman, spent $825 million over 3 years ($125 million in 2013 alone) on a documentary on superheroes.
  • $1.5 billion to keep the lights on in unused or underutilized federal buildings.

    The list goes on and on. Which does not include the $319 million spent on the Healthcare.gov website, or the unknown amount of emergency spending to get the website to actually work, or the estimated additional $600 million that will be spent to try to convince the public that they should use the site.

    In fact, if just the waste of 2013 – just the $30 billion in the Wastebook alone – were saved, it would result in more savings than the Ryan-Murray deal (that passed the House and Senate – thank you Rep. Hanna, Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand) will do in 10 years. Which goes to how serious is Congress about the fiscal stability of the nation? Sen. Coburn answered that question from CBS News

    “They don’t pay attention to it. It’s hard work to get rid of junk, it’s hard work to do oversight, it’s hard work to hold the agencies accountable. And so what they would rather do is look good at home, get re-elected, and continue to spend money, and that’s Republican and Democrat alike.”

    If, after the elections in 2014, serious people who are actually dedicated to being fiscally responsible and accountable to constituents – or in other words almost none of the incumbents currently in either house of Congress in my opinion – were to enact laws to save the $200 billion that Sen. Coburn estimates is the minimum being wasted each year in America (almost the 10% I suggested as a solution) there would be no need for a Ryan-Murray budget deal. In fact, progress on paying off the debt would for the first time take place.

    I will say this, it is refreshing to see the validation of the solution I proposed to resolve the spending addiction that Congress and the Government has at this time. The national debt and deficit can be resolved, if we have elected officials that are willing to work as hard as constituents that fund this wasteful spending via their taxes.

    In 2014 we can have that fiscal Conservative who will fight to restrict the waste, and respect the financial futures of our children and grandchildren. Visit www.MichaelVasquezforCongress.com to learn more and lend your support.

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