Old, But Simply *SHOCKING*!

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Sun Oct 28 19:26:40 MDT 2007

                 April 14 1996
               Kim Weissman 74157.1507 at compuserve.com

WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE: The average American family today pays more 
in taxes than they pay for food, clothing, and shelter combined. 
Despite the vast sums of tax money collected by our government, it 
continues to spend even more, piling up deficits, adding to the 
already enormous national debt. The traditional solutions to this 
problem have been to either raise taxes even higher, or reduce 
spending. Democrat majorities in Congress, with the assent of the 
Republican minorities and presidents of both parties, have 
traditionally adopted the former solution, proclaiming that every 
last dollar spent by the federal leviathan is vitally important and 
cannot be cut. On the rare occasions they seek to actually cut 
spending, politicians have usually adopted the safe and easy route of 
proclaiming to eliminate Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. This approach 
appeals to both parties, and the W, F and A warriors proudly display 
their trophies: $600 Pentagon hammers, Cadillac-driving welfare 
queens, and even, rarely, actually eliminating such absurdities as 
the Tea Tasting Board.

         The dirty little secret of federal spending, however, is 
that even if all the Waste, Fraud and Abuse were totally gone, the 
impact on the national debt would be minimal. At the root of our 
financial problem lies the intentional spending on pork barrel favors 
for special interests. The budget debates over the past year and a 
half, in which the first small steps have been taken to attack 
special interest spending, have highlighted the difficulty inherent 
in trying to slaughter sacred cows. The recent death of Ron Brown has 
brought to the fore once again the pledge of the House Republican 
freshmen to eliminate the Commerce Department, prompting Bill Clinton 
to shamelessly politicize his eulogy of Brown in order to pledge the 
preservation of the department in all its bloated glory. Similar 
tactics have been used by congressional Democrats and Bill Clinton 
throughout the past many months whenever any bureaucracy is 
approached with the cutting knife: point to the high-profile 
accomplishments, demonize Republicans, and conveniently ignore all 
the rest of the special interest pork spending.

         Most people have no idea of the extent to which our 
government wastes our money. The very mind-numbing nature of the 
following (by no means exhaustive) lists are the bureaucrats' 
greatest strength. Some of these groups existed to do good works 
before the rise of the welfare state, many sprung to life solely to 
suck the blood of the taxpayer, all have become addicts to federal 
money. The venality of forty years of one party rule in Congress 
created and nurtured them. Timidity of the other party preserves 
them. Lifetime bureaucrats scurry to protect them. Media snobs 
conspire with them. Peruse them carefully, note how many unions are 
included, and how often wealthy groups such as AARP, the American 
Medical Association and the American Bar Association get our money. 
Also note that these are only special interest groups receiving your 
money, and doesn't even touch all the pork projects funded directly, 
such as the $15 million from the Pentagon budget to develop an 
electric Algoremobile.

         The Commerce Department, for example, contains such a 
variety of agencies that even Ron Brown would have had trouble 
explaining exactly what they do. The following is a list of the major 
subheads under the Commerce Department: Bureau of Export 
Administration, Bureau of the Census, Economics and Statistics 
Administration, Economic Development Administration, Environmental 
Information Services, Economic Conversion Information Exchange, 
Clearinghouse about defense downsizing, International Trade 
Administration, Institute for Telecommunications Sciences, 
Information Infrastructure Task Force, Japan Technology Program, 
Minority Business Development Agency, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, National Information Infrastructure, 
National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Technical 
Information Service, National Oceanic Data Center, National Climatic 
Data Center, National Telecommunications and Information 
Administration, National Geophysical Data Center, Patent and 
Trademark Office, Space Environment Laboratory, STAT-USA (formerly 
Office of Business Analysis), and the U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration.

         Then there's all the money doled out to private lobbying 
groups, the major purposes of which are to lobby for even more of 
your money. Republicans suggest cutting spending for the 
Environmental Protection Agency, for example, and they are accused of 
trying to poison the air and water. However, in addition to enforcing 
environmental laws, the EPA dispenses $100 million yearly to private 
environmental groups: World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth, 
Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Fund, Nature 
Conservancy, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Defense Fund, 
Natural Resources Defense Fund, and the Nature Conservancy.

         The EPA also gives more money (by some estimates anywhere 
from $40 billion to $200 billion yearly) to other non-profit lobbying 
groups whose connection to "saving the planet" can generously be 
described as tenuous at best: AFL-CIO, Teamsters Union, United Auto 
Workers Union, Service Employees International Union, American 
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Save America's 
Families Coalition, Catholic Charities, AARP, ABA, National Council 
of Senior Citizens, National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, 
Planned Parenthood, and ACORN, to name a few.

         Then there's the Department of Health and Human Services. 
Republicans who suggest cutting HHS spending are accused of trying to 
take away your grandmother's health care. But what about the millions 
given to such groups as: Laborers AGC Education Fund, United 
Brotherhood of Carpenters, International Chemical Workers Union, 
International Union of Operating Engineers, Teamsters, International 
Association of Fire fighters, United Auto Workers, Service Employees 
International Union, AARP, AMA, ABA, National Bar Association, U.S. 
Departments of Commerce and Education (note: one government agency 
funding another, which makes killing this intertwined monster so 
difficult), Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 
National Association of State Units on Aging, National Academy of 
Sciences, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, National 
Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, National Association of 
Nutrition Agencies, National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, Three 
Feathers Associates, American Public Welfare Association, Pension 
Rights Center, Association Nacional Pro Personas Mayoress, Washington 
Business Group on Health, National Hispanic Council on Aging, 
National Council of Negro Women, Andrus Gerontology Center, Center 
for Social Gerontology, Community Transportation Association, 
Families USA Foundation, National Council on Aging, National Indian 
Council on Aging, National Pacific/Asian Resource Center, Child 
Welfare League of America, National Senior Citizens Law Center, Legal 
Services for the Elderly, Association for Gerontology and Human 
Services, National Consumer Law Center, National Title VI Directors 
Association, Alliance for Aging, American Society on Aging, American 
Institute of Architects, Easter Seal Society for Disabled Children, 
Legal Services of Northern California, Older Women's League, Research 
Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Mental Health Law Project, National 
Clearinghouse for Legal Services, Housing Counseling Services, Legal 
Assistance for Seniors, National Committee to Preserve Social 
Security and Medicare, National Senior Citizens Education and 
Research Center, Catholic Charities, National Committee for the 
Prevention of Alcoholism, and the Gerontological Society of America.

         And the Department of Agriculture, which administers the 
school lunch program, among other projects. Republicans who suggest 
cutting Agriculture Department spending are accused of trying to 
starve little children. Never mentioned are the millions spent on: 
U.S. Meat Export Federation, Cotton Council International, USA 
Poultry and Egg Export Council, Wine Institute, Southern U.S. Trade 
Association, East U.S. Agricultural and Food Export, Alaska Seafood 
Marketing Institute, Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association, 
Florida Department of Citrus, USA Rice Council, U.S. Feed Grains 
Council, California Walnut Commission, Almond Board of California, 
California Table Grape Commission, California Prune Board, U.S. Mink 
Export Development Council, California Pistachio Commission, Pet Food 
Institute, California Cling Peach/Pacific Coast Cannery, California 
Tree Fruit Agreement, National Peanut Council, USA Fresh Sweet Cherry 
Promotion, National Dry Bean Council, National Sunflower Association, 
California Strawberry Commission, Northwest Wine Promotion Coalition, 
USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, California Avocado Commission, New 
York Wine and Grape Foundation, Catfish Institute, International 
Apple Institute, Asparagus USA, Ginseng Board of Wisconsin, National 
Honey Board, Pillsbury Company, Campbell Soup Company, and Del Monte 
Foods (can someone say "corporate welfare"?).

    Who's doing all this spending? The latest National Taxpayers 
Union rankings show that of the top 191 big spenders in the House, 
all but one (Smith of Texas, # 130) are Democrats. This includes 
Sanders (I-VT) at # 25. Ronald Coleman (D-TX) leads the pack as the 
biggest spender in the House. In the Senate, 46 of the top 47 big 
spenders are Democrats (# 27 is Cohen of Maine), with Paul Wellstone 
(D-MN) in the # 1 spot as top Senate spender.

    Are you outraged yet?
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