Big Bird & the 47% must give up their wasteful hand-outs

Conservatives were delighted with Governor Mitt Romney’s declaration to presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer on Wednesday night that “I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. Actually, I like you too. But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for us.”  Mr. Lehrer stepped down as anchor of the PBS Newshour on June 6, 2011.

Romney went on to tell Lehrer and Barack Obama  --  who increased the national debt by $5 trillion in under 4 years to an eye-popping $16 trillion  --   and the vast audience watching on television and listening on the radio/Internet that he will cut all kinds of things that are wasteful and which cannot be justified with loans from the Chinese.  After all, subsidies to Big Bird  --  part of the billions of dollars in handouts given to the Public Broadcasting System (PBS)/Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) over the past decades  --  are just the tip of the iceberg of government waste. 

It is interesting that during last night’s debate on domestic matters, Obama did not bring up Romney’s 47% statement which was taped illegally during at a fundraiser at a private home.  Perhaps Obama is saving that for the second or third debate.  Romney stated to this private audience:  “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what...These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax.”

The mainstream news media acted like a vampire who saw a cross or, alternatively, like a Victorian woman swooning against a couch overcome with the vapors at Romney’s supposed shocking (but mostly correct) statement.  Many of the takers who make up the 47% (or a somewhat lower figure) need to give up many of their handouts and the makers amongst the American people know it. 

Aside from huge waste in the major entitlement programs, one of the obvious programs which has gargantuan waste is the massive food stamp handout. At a cost of nearly $72 billion each year, nearly 47,000,000 Americans are getting food stamps or a whopping 14% of the population. 

Should Governor Romney become president, he will need a lot of help from a perpetually wasteful United States Congress.  For example, in a Republican-controlled Congress, only 217 Members of the House of Representatives voted in February of last year to cut a paltry $20 million from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and 209 Members voted against the amendment.

Should he be elected, Governor Romney will have a lot of help from the Republican Study Committee (RSC) in the House of Representatives and the Tea Party senators in the United States Senate.  Indeed, last year, the RSC came up with $2.5 trillion in savings in its “The Spending Reduction Act of 2011”, H.R.408, by cutting non-defense discretionary spending to 2006 levels and eliminating or cutting back more than 100 programs.  These government spending levels would then be frozen until 2022 in the RSC’s legislation.

Romney’s target last night  --   tax funds to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting  --   would be eliminated at a cost of $445 million per year.  The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities both would lose their gifts from the taxpayers to the tune of $167.5 million each year or a savings to the taxpayers of $335 million each year.  These entities will survive on their own and Big Bird will be around for decades more. 

The boondoggle called the Legal Services Corporation would lose $420 million each year.  Amtrak would lose $1.565 billion each year.  The frivolous Community Development Fund program would lose $4.5 billion each year.  These programs are just a tiny tip of the iceberg. 

Hundreds of billions more will be saved when Congress eliminates the really big wasteful programs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc. The 165-conservative member House RSC’s “Spending Reduction Act,” when passed, will eliminate the federal workforce by 15% and that does not include any layoffs.  Federal workers who resign or retire will not be replaced, for the most part, and for those federal workers remaining, their automatic pay increases will be eliminated for 5 years.

Most Americans who watched the debate last night know that the four one-trillion dollar plus deficits which Obama has given the country cannot be sustained. They know that borrowing from China must end. They also know that Big Bird no longer needs hard-earned American taxpayers’ money to survive.