“Far too many public officials buried their heads in the sand in 2021 and ignored the dire financial threat posed by our nation’s $29 trillion debt,” stated Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW).
“Even worse, many in Washington continue to propose trillions of dollars in federal spending programs that would move the country closer to socialism and unnecessarily increase America’s mounting and unsustainable indebtedness.”
Chosen by CAGW staff from the 2021 Porkers of the Month, the nominees who showed the most blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers are:
Founded in 1984 by the late businessman J. Peter Grace and late Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Jack Anderson, CAGW is the legacy of President Ronald Reagan’s Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, also known as the Grace Commission.
In another critical speech of 2015, Paul cautioned us on the U.S. Senate floor regarding the need for Congress to pass appropriations bills individually and in a timely manner.
His words later helped President Donald Trump during his presidency–as Paul Ryan played political games– but served as notice about the influence of RINOS within the Republican Party. Here are highlights of that speech:
Reminded of that line from “Cool-hand Luke,” what we have here is a failure to legislate. What we have here is a failure to use our leverage, a failure to use the power of the purse. Conservatives across America are unhappy and rightly so. We were told that when we took over Congress, when Republicans were elected to Congress that things would be different. That if voters put us in charge, we would right the ship. We would stop the deficits. And here we are with another continuing resolution.
What is a continuing resolution? It is a continuation of the deficit spending of the past…It is a steaming pile of the same old same old. Let me be clear. A continuing resolution is not a good thing. It is more of the status quo. It is a warmed-over version of yesterday’s failures. It is an abdication of Congressional authority. It is an abdication of Congressional power.
Let us at least be honest. With a continuing resolution, no waste will be cut. No spending will be cut. No regulations will be stopped…But perhaps there is an alternate future where courage steps up and saves the day. All spending is set to expire automatically. This is the perfect time to turn the tables. To tell the other side that they will need 60 votes to affirmatively spend any money.
You see, it doesn’t have to be 60 votes to stop things. All spending will expire, and only those programs for which we can get 60 votes should go forward. What would that mean? That would mean an elimination of waste, an elimination of duplication, an elimination of bad things that we spend money on. If we have the courage, we could use the Senate’s supermajority rules top stop wasteful spending. If we had the courage, we could force the other side to come up with 60 votes to fund things like Planned Parenthood. The budget is loaded with nonsense and waste.
Some will say our job is to govern, to preside. But to preside over what? To preside over a mountain of new debt to be the same as the other side? To continue to add debt after debt? Our debt will consume us if we continue to preside over the status quo. It is as if we’re on the titanic and just simply reshuffling the chairs. A continuing resolution continues the spending of wasteful money.
I’ll tell you of a few we spend money on – $300,000 last year studying whether or not Japanese quail are more sexually promiscuous on cocaine. These things should never have money spent on but if you do a continuing resolution it will continue.
🔹We spent several hundred thousand dollars studying whether or not we can relieve stress in Vietnamese villagers by having them watch television reruns. I don’t know about you but I don’t want one penny of these dollars going to this ridiculous stuff.
🔹We spent $800,000 in the last couple of years developing a televised cricket league for developing Afghanistan. Do you know how many people have a television in Afghanistan? One in 10,000 people. I don’t care if they’ve all got TV’s; it’s ridiculous that our money — which we don’t have, we have to borrow it from China to send it to Afghanistan.
🔹If you’re passing a continuing resolution, you’re agreeing to continue this nonsense. We spent $150,000 last year on yoga classes for federal employees. So not only do we pay them nearly one and a half times as much as the private sector employees, we give them yoga classes.
If you pass a continuing resolution, this goes on and on. Nothing will change. The status quo will continue, and we will continue to spend ourselves into oblivion.
🔹We spent $250,000 last year inviting 24 kids from Pakistan to go to space camp in Alabama. We borrow money from China to send it to Pakistan. It’s crazy. It’s ridiculous. And it should stop.
We have the power to stop it. Congress has the power to spend money or not spend money, and yet we roll over and we say it must continue. We don’t have the votes to stop it. Nonsense. The other side doesn’t have the vote to continue the spending if we would stand up and challenge them.
🔹We spent a half million-dollar last year and the year before developing a menu for when we colonize Mars. We sent a bunch of college students to Hawaii to study this. $5,000 apiece we paid them. They got two weeks all expenses paid in Hawaii. And you know what a bunch of college kids came up with for the menu for Mars? Pizza.
This is where your money is going. I could go on, hundreds and hundreds of programs. If we do not exert the power of the purse, this continues. We should attach to all of the spending bills, all 12 individual bills not glommed together; we should attach hundreds of instructions, thousands of instructions. Some of the media said those would be riders on appropriations bills. Exactly. That’s the power of the purse.
If you object to the President writing regulations without our authority, Congress should defund the regulations. Congress should instruct him on Obamacare, what we object to. Congress should instruct him that we don’t want money spent on Planned Parenthood. Hundreds and hundreds of instructions should be written into every bill and passed and sent to them. Would we win all of these battles? Do we have the power to win every battle and defund everything we want? No. But you know what we start out with? Our negotiating position right now is we start out with we defund nothing.
Why don’t we start out with the negotiating position that we defund everything that’s objectionable, all the wasteful spending, all the duplicative spending, let’s defund it all and if there has to be negotiation let’s start from defunding it all and see where we get. But it would take courage because you have to let spending expire. If you’re not willing to let the spending expire and start anew, you have no leverage.
The power of the purse is only there if you have courage. You must courage of convictions to say enough is enough, that the debt is a greater threat to us than letting spending expire. Now some will report on this speech and say, “oh, he wants to shut down government.” No, I don’t. I just want to exert the power of the purse, and that means spending must expire. But I’m all for renewing the spending, but let’s only renew the spending that makes sense.
We have the power of the purse if we choose to exert it. Look at the mountain of debt. Look at the debt that continues to be added up. We have not been doing our job. The way we are supposed to spend money in Congress is 12 individual appropriations bills. They’ve passed out of committee. Why aren’t they presented on the floor? The Democrats have filibustered the only one presented. Let’s present every one of them and let the public know, let everyone in America know that it’s Democrats filibustering the spend bills.
🔹It’s Democrats who desire to shut down government.
🔹It’s Democrats who desire not to have any restrictions on where the money’s spent.
🔹It’s the Democrats who are saying we don’t want to end wasteful spending. We don’t want to end any spending. We don’t want any controls over spending. We want to continue the status quo. But we should not be complicit with them.
We have allowed this to go on for too long. It threatens the very heart of the republic. It threatens our very foundations to continue to borrow $1 million a minute. It’s time that we stood up. It is time that we took a stand and said enough is enough. When’s the last time we did it in the appropriate fashion? When is the last time Congress passed each of the individual appropriations bills with instructions on how to spend the money? It was 2005, a decade ago. It’s been a decade.
In the last decade we’ve added nearly $10 trillion in new debt. Many it’s time to take a stand. I for one have had enough. I’ve had enough. I’m not going to vote for a continuing resolution. A continuing resolution is simply a continuation of the mounting debt. I for one will not do it. A continuing resolution is retreat. It is announcing your defeat in advance. What we should do is take a stand. We should say to the other side in the Senate it requires a supermajority.
What does that mean? 60 votes to pass spending. What would happen? You would have spending that is controversial, like Planned Parenthood, would fall away. They can ask for private donations. Good luck on that.
You wouldn’t find things being funded that are controversial. What would happen is there would no longer be spending for wasteful and duplicative projects. We listed these a couple of years ago. I think we had $7 billion worth of duplication. Did we fix it? No. Every year the President, even this President puts forward $10 billion, $15 billion, and $20 billion worth of programs that could be eliminated. Do they get eliminated? No, because Congress is dysfunctional and we continue to pass a continuing resolution, which means we do not to exert the power of the purse.
Congress is a shadow of what it once was. Madison said that we would have coequal branches and that we would pit ambition against ambition. We no longer do that. Congress is a withering shadow. It’s a shadow of what it once was. Congress has no power, exerts no power, and we walk and we live in the shadow of a presidency that is growing larger and larger and larger.
The President’s not afraid. He says he’s got his pen and his phone. So he is writing and creating law. One of the philosophers they look to is Montesquieu, and Montesquieu said when the Executive begins to legislate, a form of tyranny will ensue. That’s what we’ve got now. We have Executive tyranny. Not just this President, though. It’s been going on for a while. Probably for 100 years we’ve been allowing more and more power to accumulate in the hands of the presidency.
What we need is a bipartisan taking back of that power. We need Congress to stand up on its own two feet and say enough is enough. We are reclaiming the power of the purse and we are going to do whatever is necessary to get rid of the wasteful spending, the duplicative spending, and the offensive spending. And we are going to do what the American people want, and that is to spend only what comes in.
But I will tell you, I for one will oppose this continuing resolution, and I recommend that everybody in America call their Congressman and say we’re tired of the mounting debt. We want you to stand up. We want you to stand up and say enough is enough. Let the funding expire and make the other side come up with 60 votes to spend the money. It’s time we took a stand. I hope we will. Thank you, Mr. President.
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Porkers of the Month for endangering America’s financial stability with their massive spending plans.
Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Sanders are leading the charge to pass a $3.5 trillion spending bill that would devastate the economy and dramatically increase the size, scope, and power of the federal government.
Sen. Sanders outrageously claims he’s “already made a major, major compromise” from his original $6 trillion plan, while Speaker Pelosi is “very exhilarated” over the taxes and spending contained in the $3.5 trillion budget.
CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “The budget plan is a giant insult to taxpayers, especially when $3.5 trillion isn’t enough for Sen. Sanders and Speaker Pelosi is ‘pretty excited’ about spending that much money.
The government has already spent more than $5.7 trillion on pandemic ‘relief,’ yet they want to spend even more. No one should be ‘excited’ or ‘exhilarated’ if they succeed.” For pushing the U.S. further toward bankruptcy, Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Sanders are the September Porkers of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) Porker of the Month for leading the push to add more funds for the troubled and wasteful F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.
The JSF has become the embodiment of waste at the Department of Defense. The aircraft has been in development for two decades, and the total cost of the program has reached $1.7 trillion, making it the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history.
The JSF has even been called a “piece of [expletive]” by former Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and a “rathole” by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.).
Despite the program’s delays and cost overruns, Rep. Turner thinks that the F-35 is “modern and capable” and believes that throwing more money at the program by increasing production will somehow reduce the overall cost.
For wanting to send more money to the failed F-35 program, Rep. Turner is the June Porker of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Porker of the months for her absurd claim that “paid leave, child care, and caregiving” are all “infrastructure.”
When White House resident Joe Biden unveiled his $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan, it was soon discovered that it was packed to the gills with hundreds of billions of dollars in spending unrelated to traditional infrastructure. Many of the items are simply an expensive wish list of big-government Far-Left priorities that the country does not need and cannot afford.
But it did not take long for big-spending members of congress, including Sen. Gillibrand, to jump to the defense of this wasteful spending. Her April 7 tweet claiming that “paid leave, child care and caregiving” are all “infrastructure” was quickly mocked on social media. For redefining infrastructure to include frivolous spending, Sen. Gillibrand is the May Porker of the Month.
Political Taxpayer’s Money Wasters of the Month: Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Patrick Leahy
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) March Porkers of the Month for agreeing to bring back corrupt, costly, and inequitable earmarks.
Congress has squandered $375.7 billion on 111,417 earmarks since 1991, with $15.9 billion wasted in fiscal year 2020 alone.
There has been a moratorium on earmarks since 2011, but now Rep. DeLauro and Sen. Leahy are trying to disguise their resurrection by renaming them “Community Project Funding” and claiming they will be more transparent.
For bringing back the most corrupt practice in Congressional history, Rep. DeLauro and Sen. Leahy are the March Porkers of the Month
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has been selected the 2020 Porker of the Year by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) for politicizing and delaying the distribution of new COVID-19 vaccines that will save lives.
In November, Gov. Cuomo claimed that America’s speedy vaccine approval process was driven by “the money and ego” of pharmaceutical companies and President Trump, respectively.
He announced that New York would set up its own analysis and review of the vaccine, further delaying its release even though it had already undergone the most rigorous review process in the world for quality, safety, and efficacy.
His failure to move quickly in December and January once the vaccine was received has now led to significant delays in vaccinations throughout New York State. And this was all before it was revealed this week that Gov. Cuomo’s office understated by 50 percent the number of deaths in nursing homes caused by his policies last year.
Porker of the Month: California Governor Gavin Newsom
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) January Porker of the month for hurting Californians with his hypocritical and ineffective COVID-19 policies.
Gov. Newsom drew outrage in November when he was spotted at dinner at the exclusive and expensive French Laundry restaurant with dozens of mask-less attendees, soon after he reiterated the need for Californians to both stay home and mask up.
He shut down both indoor and outdoor dining but allowed TV production to continue and gyms and ski resorts to remain open.
Gov Newsom’s unfair and inequitable actions have caused more than 50 business owners to sue the state and led to a recall petition that has drawn more than one million signatures. For betraying California citizens and businesses, Gov. Newsom is the January Porker of the Month