Yesterday, the House voted down a provision introduced by House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) to cut a 2009 welfare expansion program. The introduction of this spending cut was a part of a new program by Cantor’s office called “You Cut”. The programs offers a website where Americans can go and vote each week on one of 5 wasteful programs that will then be put up for a vote in the House. Yesterday’s winner was voted down 240 to 177.
Florida Representative Alcee Hastings took to the House floor Thursday to denounce the entire You Cut program and the nearly 300,000 “so-called Americans” concerned about Washington’s out-of-control spending who participated.
As the title of this post suggests, Representative Hastings even invoked the specter of Osama bin Laden during his speech, warning:
For all we know on YouCut, Osama bin Laden could be voting.
Funny, most of us have likely never considered bin Laden as much of a deficit hawk.
The rest of the Congressman’s remarks were objections to the way in which the Republicans brought the proposed cut up for vote. The irony of Congressman Hastings—one of only six judges in American history to be impeached by the U.S. Senate—voicing concerns about following the rules notwithstanding, the fact remains that this program deserves some credit.
To be sure, these cuts (if enacted) will not solve our massive debt and deficit problems overnight, but any smart reduction in government spending should be seriously considered. However, the best way for us to really rein in government spending and power is through massive overhaul of our entitlement spending and a change in thinking among the wider public about the government’s role in society.