Thursday, March 09, 2006

To President Bush: You're not a conservative if you spend beyond your means...

"To the American People:" from Mike Pence - Chairman, Republican Study Committee, and Jeb Hensarling - Chairman, RSC Budget & Spending Taskforce...
...This is not the legacy the Members of the Republican Study Committee wish to leave, a massive government and a crushing burden on future generations. In crafting this year’s budget, we have sought to update the budget passed by the first House Republican majority in a generation. Obviously, the replica is not exact; many things have changed in the past decade and much good has been done. However, with regard to the work that remains, we have tried to adhere closely to the policy assumptions of that first budget and renew our commitment to balancing the budget without raising taxes. We too believe that America is at a crossroads, and we too choose the path that leads to the restoration of the American dream. We propose for your consideration the “RSC Budget: The Contract with America Renewed.”
The Right Angle has photos here.

Ivy Sellers has a good breakdown here.
The "Contract with America: Renewed" proposed by the Republican Study Committee would eliminate at least 150 programs from the FY 2007 budget.

Here are a few that stand out:

  • The NASA Education Program: designed to encourage students to study space-related disciplines, the federal government already operates and funds 207 educational program -- this one is a duplicate

  • Economic Assistance to Egypt: Egypt is the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance, but according to the proposal, "its human rights record remains poor" and "Egyptian authorities continue to mistreat and torture prisoners, arbitrarily arrest and detain persons, hold detainees in prolonged pretrial detention, and occasionally engage in mass arrests without charge." (Note: funding through the separate Foreign Military Financing Program would continue.)

  • U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration: Designed to promote the U.S. to foreign travelers, the International Trade Administration does the same thing. Most states have their own programs as well.

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Taking in $400 million annually, the CPB still continues to run "questionable programming" -- like sex education partially paid for by the Playboy Foundation -- and popular programs such as "Sesame Street" could fund PBS itself.

  • National Endowment for the Arts: The public pours enough into the arts, no federal funding is needed (Billions were privately donated in 2001 -- the NEA's $105 million that year made up less than 0.4%).

  • Education Programs for Native Hawaiians: Since they aren't a tribe, only a racial group, it's unconstitutional that Native Hawaiians would receive more than federal funding than other ethnicities. Financial assistance programs are already provided through other programs.
  • Some quotes...
    Pence said:
    "The time has come to level with the American people -- we are not, as a nation, living within our means"..."The American people know that unbridled growth of government threatens our future, and our freedom"

    Hensarling said:
    ...the time has come get "get back to our roots and balance the budget."..."American families every year have to balance their budget"..."They expect no less from the federal government."..."By limiting government, we will give families unlimited opportunities".

    John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.):
    "Nearly every Republican - whether they were elected in 1994 or 2004 -- campaigned on a promise to cut wasteful spending and shrink the size of the federal government. It is time to keep that promise to the American people."

    Virginia Foxx (R.-N.C.):
    "Like every family across America, we need to make tough budget decisions and cut back on wasteful spending. It's not easy but it is the right thing to do."

    Paul Ryan (R.-Wisc.):
    "I'm very excited about this budget. I want to congratulate Jeb Hensarling for his hard work in putting this together. Only be these kinds of efforts are we able to actually do the right thing for our constituents and give them not only a balanced budget but stop taking so much of their money here in Washington so they can have more freedom at their homes and at their businesses and in their own lives."

    Tom Feeney (R.-Fla.):
    "Government spending is through the roof and it is time this Republican Congress returned to our fiscally responsible roots. In 1994, the American people elected a Republican Congress that promised them fiscal sanity and reform. I am proud my colleagues and I are renewing our commitment to this promise.

    "The federal government must stop using taxpayer dollars like Monopoly money. These are real families who work hard to send their dollars to Washington, D.C. and we should not be playing games with them.

    "Spending other people's money is an intoxicating experience-it takes extraordinary disciple and self-control to govern responsibly. Republicans must be the adult party in spending restraint or the country's fiscal soundness will collapse."
    Click here to download a copy of The Contract with America...Renewed.


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