Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) issued the following response to the Obama Administration’s apparent insistence on choosing the most painful sequester cuts possible in an effort to increase support for tax increases:
“It has become clear that the President and his administration are purposefully choosing to do harm to the American economy and people to achieve their political goal of higher taxes,” stated Representative LaMalfa. “The President and top administration officials have been a flying circus criss-crossing the country to scare the public, rather than fixing his sequester plan and minimizing its impact on public services. As recently as Monday, internal USDA emails demonstrated a clear intent to impose the most painful sequester cuts in order not to ‘contradict the administration’.”
The across-the-board sequester cuts were originally proposed by the Obama White House as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, reducing the amount of additional government spending by $85 billion or 2.3% in 2013. Even with the reduction, federal spending is projected to increase $30 billion over 2012 levels.
“House Republicans have twice proposed sequester replacements with realistic reductions in spending that protect our national defense and cut waste, yet neither the Senate nor the President has acted,” continued LaMalfa. “President Obama imposed the largest tax hike in decades this January, yet he insists on further increases and refuses to rein in waste. Unfortunately, the President and his administration seem more interested in making these minor reductions as much of an inconvenience as possible, rather than being serious about governing.”
Ready alternatives to the President’s sequester include the following:
· Reduce Improper Payments: In 2011, by its own estimates, the federal government made $115 billion in improper payments. These are instances where people receive benefits or payments they are not entitled to receive or for which proper documentation hasn’t been provided.
· Reduce Duplication: According to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office, the federal government administers 94 federal initiatives to foster green building; 15 significant financial literacy programs across 13 agencies; 173 STEM education programs across 13 agencies; and 47 job-training programs. Consolidating these programs would improve their effectiveness and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Reduce Government Waste: The federal government wastes billions of taxpayer dollars every year, including the following:
· Free Cell Phones: This program spent $2.2 billion providing free phones in 2013 alone, with at least a third of recipients found to be ineligible.
· Obama Healthcare Takeover Promotion: The federal government spent $51.6 million last year promoting The Obama Healthcare takeover and paying public relations firms.
· IRS TV Studio: The IRS has a full-service TV production studio which costs $4 million annually to operate.
· Vacation Getaways: The 183 Conferences paid for by federal agencies over the last several years cost taxpayers more per attendee than the infamous October 2010 GSA conference in Las Vegas, NV.
· Property Maintenance: The federal government spent $1.7 billion in 2010 to maintain property that is not in use or underutilized.
· EPA Grants to Foreign Countries: The EPA has given more than $100 million in grants to foreign countries over the last ten years.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District including, Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.