For the Good of Illinois

Subscriber Special: Trump needs a Bridge to Nowhere moment

July 12, 2018 09:00 AM
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"Trump should use every tool at his disposal – from Twitter to rescissions – to change the trajectory on spending."
 
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While the nation was distracted by the political theater around immigration before the July 4 recess, the Senate cast a critical vote killing a very modest attempt offered by President Trump to rein in spending. If Trump plays his cards right, this will not be the end of a fight but its start.
 
The package in dispute was a $15 billion rescission or spending cut package the president presented to Congress in May. Very little of Trump’s package were true cuts.
 
We've learned that taking on individual targets like the Bridge to Nowhere can be a more productive strategy than proposing across the board cuts or offering multiple cuts at once. Our initial vote to eliminate funding for the bridge failed 82-15 but we won in the court of public opinion. Trump may find that picking more targeted fights can turn the tide and produce big savings.
 
Rather than stand down, Trump should stay on offense and send even more cuts to Congress. There is no shortage of potential savings in today’s bloated federal budget.
 
Consider what we exposed in our recent report about federal grants entitled "Where’s the Pork?":
 
  • Tai Chi for the Elderly – Nearly $700,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services funded tai chi classes at a center for the elderly in Boston.
 
  • Space Racers: An Animated Children’s Cartoon – $2.5 million in NASA funding supported the production of two seasons of a children’s cartoon series about galactic adventures.
 
  • Sex Ed for Prostitutes in California – $1.5 million funded "safer sex and needle" education for prostitutes in California even though prostitution is illegal in the state.
 
Our recent oversight report, Where's the Pork?, details 50 examples of wasteful federal grants. Read the entire report here.
 
 
It's Your Money! Join the Transparency Revolution!
 
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Jessie Fox
Communications Specialist
 
Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski)
CEO & Founder, OpenTheBooks.com
 
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director at Large
 
 
 

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