“CAGW members are an iconoclastic bunch skeptical about politicians' promises.”- National Journal
President Promises More of What Government Already Does Badly
For Immediate Release
Contact: Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334 Luke Gelber 202-467-5318
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz issued a response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
“Last night, President Obama insisted that America needs a smarter government, not a larger one,” said Schatz. “He insisted that cuts from sequestration to ‘our military readiness … priorities like education, energy, and medical research … are a really bad idea.’ He then went on to deliver more than 6,400 words without specifying a single spending cut.
“Instead, the President proposed several new projects, such as a new version of the federal preschool program Head Start, along with ‘investments’ in alternative and domestic energy, manufacturing innovation institutes, schools that prioritize science and technology classes, new military capabilities, ‘science and innovation,’ and the ever-popular ‘broad-based growth.’ None of this, according to the President, ‘should increase our deficit by a single dime.’ On behalf of taxpayers, color us skeptical.
“If President Obama had indicated which ongoing but ineffective programs he aimed to replace, our reaction might be different. For example, if the President had shown that he is even aware of the 209 federal Science, Technology, Education, and Math (STEM) programs that already exist, he may have advocated culling the weakest and least effective of them before proposing number 210. Had he suggested a plan for increasing the effectiveness of the federal government’s 45 different programs for early education and child care, it might be easier to at least consider the need for 46.
“Indeed, even a cursory reference to the 51 areas where government can ‘achieve greater efficiencies or become more effective in providing government services,’ according to a February 2012 Government Accountability Office report, would have been encouraging. The President instead boasted of having ‘reduce[d] the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion – mostly through spending cuts,’ a ridiculous statement that relies on the elevated baseline established by the huge spending increases of the 2009 Stimulus bill.
“In most interpretations of the English language, calls for a smarter government – rather than a larger one – would seem to entail a vision for eliminating the ‘dumb’ things government already does. Sadly, the President chose to lay out a fantasy: government that does more at no additional cost. As America sets out for four more years of his leadership, his vision is both disappointing and expensive to taxpayers,” Schatz concluded.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.