What to Cut?

By Jeffrey Page
I went to Congresswoman Nan Hayworth’s Town Hall meeting in Warwick over the weekend. She assured the audience that the federal government spends too much money and that this is why the nation is in such deep debt.

She complained that the government has been operating through deficit spending for the last several decades. How serious is this? Pretty dire, Hayworth said. In fact, a flyer entitled “The Facts About Our Debt,” which was created by the House Republican Conference and which was given to everyone in the audience, noted that the debt stands at $14 trillion, and that this amounts to a $45,500 “birth tax” for every kid born this year.

Read that again. Fact is that if you divide $14 trillion by $45,500, you learn that we can expect to have 308 million babies born in 2011. But just two years ago, only 4.1 million babies were born. Hayworth should get a bill passed to send the wizards at the GOP Conference to classes in remedial math and how to tell the truth.

No matter. Hayworth went on to explain the difference between mandatory spending and discretionary spending. The former is the money we spend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The latter is everything else.

“We have a debt crisis because Washington spends too much, not because Washington taxes too little,” the mathematically challenged flyer said.

“I want taxes to be lower,” Hayworth said. “Our mission is to cut federal spending.” That might have sounded bold for a moment, but it was gutless because at no time did she say what it is she would cut or eliminate.

Come on, Congresswoman, be specific.

–Would you get rid of the Veterans Administration? VA hospitals? You could not be that cruel.

–The FBI? The Secret Service? How about the entire Justice Department so we can dismiss all those high paid U.S. attorneys and their staffs? Of course, this leaves unanswered the question of who would prosecute terror suspects.

–How about federal agriculture assistance? Oh wait, not with all the farms in Orange County and the rest of your district.

–Congressional salaries? What about the House of Representatives cafeteria? You’re in the House majority; will you propose a pay cut?

–The Army Corps of Engineers? Lot of griping about the corps after Katrina, right?

–How about the National Weather Service? Oops, farmers depend on this service.

–The Internal Revenue Service? Ha-ha! That’s a good one. Who would collect the taxes that you don’t want to spend on anything frivolous?

–Yellowstone National Park? After all, it’s just a big wilderness with some geysers.

–The Small Business Administration? Uh, better not; you’d have a lot of explaining to do to calm the Chamber of Commerce.

–The Food and Drug Administration? Hey, if people can’t figure out which products are impure, maybe they should just go take a class somewhere.

–The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program that gets milk, eggs, juice and bread to poor women and kids under 5? Nah, no one could be vicious enough to do away with this. Could they?

Hayworth never addressed the question of what she would cut. So on Monday I sent her an e-mail and asked her. As soon as I get a response, I’ll post it right here at Zest of Orange.

Reach Jeff at jeffrey @zestoforange.com


4 Responses to “What to Cut?”

  1. Patricia Says:

    Can’t wait to hear her reply.

  2. Jo Galante Cicale Says:

    Did you call on the math! that’s astounding.

  3. Jeffrey Page Says:

    Yes, I mentioned it in the e-mail, to which I have yet to get a response.

  4. Russ Layne Says:

    Jeff—Russ here. I called Hayworth’s office in Washington out of concern for the new bill which would severely cut Medicaid and Medicare in the future. The page in her office responded, “I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about that bill or how Congresswoman Hayworth will vote.” I told her, as a constituent, this is of great concern to me. The page took my e-mail address and said that my representative would get back to me shortly. I called at 9:05 a.m. It is now 5:05 p.m. I ask, “Do you know where our representative is?”

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