(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) its February Porker of the Month for his baffling incoherence on whether or not the federal government has a spending problem.
On February 12, when asked by CNBC “Squawk Box” anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera if the government has a spending problem, Rep. Hoyer insisted, “The country has a paying for problem. We haven’t paid for what we bought, we haven’t paid for our tax cuts, we haven’t paid for war.” Nine days later, Rep. Hoyer appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to admit, “There is a spending problem. What I meant by that was that you don’t have a problem if you pay for what you buy.”
Leaving aside his description of tax cuts – instances in which taxpayers are allowed to keep more of the money they earned – as costs that must be “paid for,” Rep. Hoyer’s refusal to acknowledge that spending is too high regardless of tax rates shows either an ignorance of basic budgeting or a blind adherence to big government talking points. Federal spending as a percentage of America’s gross domestic product shows no signs of slowing down. The national debt is $16.5 trillion and climbing.
“Reducing the deficit and restoring economic growth go hand in hand, and the United States has placed itself in a position where leaning heavily on spending cuts is the only appropriate course of action,” said CAGW President Schatz. “To be fair to Rep. Hoyer, he was largely parroting the arguments of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who have insisted that all would be well if Congress could just have more of the taxpayers’ money. But at the end of the day, spending must fall, and no amount of rebranding or equivocating can change that reality.”
According to a February 2012 Government Accountability Office report, “Opportunities to Reduce Duplication, Overlap and Fragmentation, Achieve Savings, and Enhance Revenue,” there are 209 federal programs to promote education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at an annual cost of $3.1 billion across 13 different agencies. There are 82 teacher quality programs in 10 agencies that cost $10 billion per year, 47 job training programs at nine agencies that cost $18 billion per year, and 56 programs across 20 agencies to promote financial literacy, just to name a few. CAGW’s 2013 edition of Prime Cuts will be published this week, providing another source of spending cuts for taxpayers, the media, and elected officials. The most recent version included 691 recommendations that would save $392 billion in one year and $1.8 trillion over five years.
For ignoring the merits of efficient government and for enabling Congress’s addiction to spending, Rep. Steny Hoyer is CAGW’s February 2013 Porker of the Month.
CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.
Read more at Citizens Against Governmnet Waste