Nancy Pelosi was recently heard to say the border wall is a ‘luxury we can’t afford’! Anybody care to take a guess as to what she’s been smoking? Maybe it’s one of those illegal substances coming across the border like a runaway freight train.
Whatever it is, it must have damaged some brain cells along the way, because Democrats have been throwing money at a ton of programs that cost a whole lot more than President Trump’s current funding request, and in numerous cases are nothing but pork costing billions of taxpayer dollars for no discernable benefit.
More from Grabie News:
After President Trump requested $5.7 billion to fund the border wall he campaigned on in 2016, Democrats have dug in, refusing to appropriate the funds that the administration says are needed to better manage the flow of immigration across the southern border.
Democrats are not traditionally known for their fiscal rectitude but are being particularly parsimonious over what ultimately amounts to a very small percentage of the federal budget. (In 2018, the feds spent $4.173 trillion overall, meaning the border wall would amount to just 1/10th of 1 percent of current annual federal spending.)
Indeed, these lawmakers have happily funded various projects over the years that cost far more than the border wall — many of which had very questionable value. Below are some examples of wasteful federal spending projects that individually cost more than the proposed border wall (some data courtesy of Citizens Against Government Waste):
- “Rural Utility Service.” This program costs taxpayers $8.2 billion/year and has no actual purpose after its original intent — bringing electricity to rural communities — was long ago achieved. It’s now being used to bring broadband access to small communities (usually with populations of less than 20,000). However there’s no indication the “beneficiaries” of this expensive government agency actually appreciate the program and the majority of its projects are not completed on time or within budget.
- Sugar Subsidies. America, as Democrats frequently intone, faces a health crisis. What they don’t tell us is that it’s largely of their own making, as Congress subsidizes the production of unhealthy foods like sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Eliminating sugar subsidies alone would save $6 billion, enough to fund the border wall; it would also have the added benefit of helping curb the nation’s obesity epidemic.
- Community Development Grants. These grants were created in the 70s to revitalize failing American cities. The program has almost always been plagued with dysfunction, with grants going to wealthy communities and other recipients failing to produce accountability or results. Citizens Against Government Waste reports that even President Obama called for reining in the program. It’s elimination would save $15 billion over 5 years.
- The United Nations. As the United Nation’s largest contributor, the U.S. in 2016 donated $10 billion to the U.N. As CAGW notes, reducing these contributions just 25 percent would create a savings of $12.5 billion over 10 years. Of the money Congress appropriates for the United Nations, 5 million taxpayer dollars are itemized for abortions in foreign countries.
- Amtrak. Congress could sell Amtrak to the private sector where it would almost certainly be operated more efficiently, but instead, it’s showered in billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies. Over the next five years, these subsidies will cost $9.7 billion.
- Unused Real Estate. Congress appropriates money to maintain federal real estate that’s not actually being used. Per CAGW, an October 31, 2017, CRS report found that “In FY2016, federal agencies owned 3,120 buildings that were vacant (unutilized), and another 7,859 that were partially empty (underutilized).” Current laws require the government to undergo a series of steps before considering a sale of these buildings. Were selling this unused property prioritized, the 5-year savings are estimated at $15 billion. Simply maintaining the unused buildings annually costs $1.7 billion.
- Foreign Aid. American taxpayers currently spend more than $50 billion a year helping develop foreign countries. Many of the recipients are not known for being America’s closest allies — such as Egypt, South Sudan, Uganda, South Africa, Russia, the Congo, Sudan, and Zambia — which raises the question of what Americans are receiving in exchange for all of this aid. Cutting these donations back just 10 percent would be enough to fund the wall.
- Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. The Government Accountability Office estimates taxpayers are spending more than $137 billion annually on “payment errors,” which covers all manner of waste, fraud, and abuse within Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The feds could implement the same kind of fraud protections credit card companies used to ensure against abuse, but don’t. In fact, Congress has gone in the opposite direction, winding down the program intended to police fraud within Medicare, the so-called Recovery Audit Contractor. In other words, Congress is knowingly funding tens of billions of dollars of fraud annually.
Despite many of the above projects having arguably negative value, Congress continues to fund them. Eliminating any one of the above would create more than enough savings to fund the White House’s border wall appropriation request.
Source: Grabie News
That’s quite a list of wasted money, is it not? The government is the only entity that continues to run up crazy bills at the taxpayers’ expense. It has to be a real horror for President Trump to see how much waste and abuse is taking place in the government when coming into the system from a businessman’s point of view.
Businesses need to have an accurate accounting of expenses and a goal of making profits. The government doesn’t care about either of those things because it has managed to wangle things to where they have a giant cash cow fueled by the IRS sucking the taxpayer dollars to feed the system, and they can invent all manner of silly programs that make no sense at all to someone who has to actually manage their finances in such a way that they live within their means.
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