“You Cut” Needs Your Help.

I just received an email from Congressman Lynn Westmoreland looking for input on a new project called “You Cut.” “You Cut” highlights a few federal programs, how much they cost each year, and asks you to vote on whether or not that program should be cut. There is also a place for you to suggest you own ideas for cutting government.

From the email:

It’s not the silver bullet, but it’s a good way to highlight the need for us to scale back government’s reckless spending habits. What’s better is it allows you, the American taxpayer, to join others who are taking back their country.

So, I’m asking you to join thousands of other Americans who are fed up with Washington – over 70,000 votes had been cast as of yesterday – and send the Democrats (and any Republicans, for that matter, who want to keep spending) a clear message: stop spending so much of our money.


    • ByteMe says:

      A pointless political stunt by a Georgia Republican?? 😯

      Quite frankly, I’m stunned that anyone would think such a thing.

      Oh, wait, if you eliminate every line item in the budget except for Social Security, DoD, Medicare, and Veterans Benefits, you still can’t balance the budget?

      Well, heck. I guess a poll about the marginal stuff sends a message that we’re not really serious. Was that his point?

      • BuckheadConservative says:

        Even so, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to eliminate the the other frivilous stuff.

        • ByteMe says:

          Well, you can worry about moving marbles, while the rest of us figure out how to move the boulders, since the boulders are what’s in the way of our progress.

            • ByteMe says:

              Nope, which is why moving marbles is a waste of time. If you can never reach your goal by focusing on the minutiae, then you’re wasting time and effort on the wrong thing.

              • Lady Thinker says:

                So the boulders would be the issues facing this state and the marbles would be the gay issues and who said what on any given day?

              • BuckheadConservative says:

                The individual dollars wasted on “minutiae” are of the same value as the dollars spent on the boulders. We can, and should focus on both. I would even argue we haven’t seen an honest effort focused on “the minutiae” by either party.

                Just because there is an elephant in the room, doesn’t mean you should ignore the dog chewing on your leg.

                • ByteMe says:

                  Since the elephant has a loaded gun, it’s a waste of time and effort to do anything more than ignore the dog.

                  And no one wants to focus on the elephant, so focusing on the dog is all about bread and circuses.

                • benevolus says:

                  If focusing on the minutiae detracts from the real issues it is counterproductive.
                  Even the almighty free-market corporations realize the concept of diminishing returns. It’s pretty silly to spend $100 on something that only saves $1.

                  • ByteMe says:

                    Or to focus on saving $1 in one place when you’re hemorrhaging $100 bills in another place.

  1. griftdrift says:

    “A” for politics

    “F” for fiscal reality.

    Get back to me when you’re willing to put Defense, Social Security and Medicare in the poll.

  2. Old Vet says:

    I went to the site, but the biggest, most bloated, most corrupt bureaucracy, one most in need of drastic cutting, wasn’t an option. I’m convinced we could do the same (sorry) job with half the cost if the words accountability and efficiency were introduced to the military vocabulary,

    • ByteMe says:

      It would freak out the political class and the military industrial complex if Congress was only allowed to vote on the size and scope of our military expenditures… instead of being able to vote on individual programs used to meet that size and scope.

      • Harry says:

        That would be change most Democrats and some Republicans couldn’t believe in, because it would stop the incest….you know, the extortion & payola.

  3. Rick Day says:

    Here is what I offered:

    1. Repeal or reform the Controlled Substances Act. Eliminate the ONDCP and DEA and fold international trafficking enforcement into the FBI. Cut the drug interdiction budget by 80%, with the balance going to prevention education and treatment. Enable local government to tackle local problems, without militarizing the local constabulary.

    2. Eliminate farm subsidies to any individual who does not work/live on the contiguous land surrounding that farm. Bar subsidies from any corporation that does not have 1st or 2nd generation family ties to the farm.

    3. Eliminate live pilots and switch to an all drone military airpower.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      I could support #1. I can’t really understand why there’s never been any room for ‘compassionate conservativism’ when it comes to the War on Drugs, and I’m getting really tired of all the drama the Feds give medical marijuana users.

      #2 I’m not really sure about because I don’t know much about how farm subsidies work other than that corporate farms typically get the biggest chunks of the pie.

      #3 is . . . well, Obama did say he’d bring the troops home from Iraq. I guess robots aren’t exactly troops, and he never said much about Pakistan, which is where a growing number of drone attacks are occurring.

  4. hannah says:

    Money is meant to be spent, just as letters are meant to be written and read.

    On the other hand, “allow” is a hubristic word. Citizens don’t have to ask permission to make demands of their political representatives. If they don’t work out, they need to be fired or retired. That’s why we’ve got elections coming up.

  5. Technocrat says:

    The British seem you use knives on elected politicans in attempts to correct malfeasence or dissatifaction.
    “British MP and former Financial Secretary Stephen Timms was stabbed by a [21 year old female] constituent Friday…………..”Timms has regularly spoken out against knife crime in his constituency, particularly among young people.”

    Previously “Nigel Jones, a Liberal Democrat MP, was wounded and his aide, Andrew Pennington, was stabbed to death in a frenzied samurai sword attack at the party’s office “

  6. MSBassSinger says:

    I saw the same thing from Eric Cantor. So my reaction is just that – my reaction. I have no doubt there is disagreement.

    I like the general idea, but if you add up the savings per year, it comes to a little over $1 billion a year out of a $3.5 TRILLION 2010 budget. Plus, rather than have you select online, you have to text (i.e. spending your money instead of doing it for free). Why couldn’t he just as easily have listed some big ticket items? The website had no place for feedback.

    This is why I despise the actions of Rockefeller Republicans (like Eric Cantor, Lynn Westmoreland, Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, Mitt Romney, John Mc Cain, etc.) as much as Democrats. They just don’t get it.

    I suggest starting with:
    Rescinding TARP and the rest of the bailouts, then eliminating HUD, Dept. of Education, the government prescription program, and a host of other things the federal government has no business doing. Then, we turn our military loose in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan to wipe out the enemy under WWII rules of engagement, and then bring them home. 10 years fighting these 7th century throwbacks? Next we start putting employers of illegal aliens in prison, which would dry up the jobs for illegals, they would almost all go back home, and we save money not spending it on them. Remember, an illegal alien is an “undocumented worker” like a bank robber is an “undocumented borrower”.

    The Bush/Obama policies got us into this mess, and are destroying this country, which will bring down every other nation’s economy.

    • joe says:

      Add in Energy, Transportation, Education, HSC, and anything else that does not belong to the Feds. Quit taking my money to send back to whatever program.

      Defense and Treasury make sense to be federal programs, but not much else does.

  7. You Cut? Please! I am constantly unimpressed at the level of courage displayed by those who beat their chests about stomping on a mosquito. These are the folks who would march past Hitler to go attack Poland! It is no surprise that the Republican Party is in such a state nationally. With the type of leadership that would waste our time voting on a Doctoral Dissertation Program while the process of job creation and economic expansion gets ignored; hell, we might as well resurrect the ‘Whigs’.

  8. Game Fan says:

    Yeah I’d have to agree. This isn’t a great way to focus anything substantial on any one area. On the other hand you have a wide variety of folks who are sick of the fraud and corruption, and who don’t actually have a stake in Halliburton, even your old school conservatives. Getting the word out on Halliburton would have some real impact, especially now with the oil spill. There’s no telling how far the tentacles reach, and therefore who’s heads would roll if enough heat were focused on Halliburton.

  9. John Konop says:

    I will take on our biggest problem Medicare.

    1) We must index it based on life expectancy
    2) We must promote end of life directives
    3) We must increase the co-pay on Medicare
    4) We must eliminate all non-essential items covered
    5) We must promote use of non-emergency care using dial a doc, nurses at pharmacies…
    6) We must let Americans buy medicine over the internet from approved countries and use VA pricing system for medicine

    I am sure some of you even have more ideas.

    • ByteMe says:

      For #2… how about — like with donation signatures on drivers licenses — we have EOL directives as part of registering for Medicare?

            • ByteMe says:

              No one knows how to make this a reality? Is it not possible? Is there not a legislator (or candidate) reading this who knows how to make this happen?

              • John Konop says:


                LSG is right; the problem is people want the service without the price. When I ran for office as you know even the AJC called me ‘chicken little” for warning about the economic impact of being fiscally irresponsible. The system is a popularity contest driven by candidates making promises they cannot deliver. The majority of people only hear what they want.

                …And until voters get it through their thick skulls that small government means lower taxes but also FEWER SERVICES, they’ll continue to be disappointed in the people they elect from either party……

                • ByteMe says:

                  I understand that, John. I’m asking about this one specific change to the Medicare/Medicaid rules, to insist that EOL directives are in place as part of registering and receiving the benefits of these programs.

                  Can the State somehow not add this rule as a almost-no-cost cost-cutting measure? What would it take to do this?

  10. Lone Star Georgian says:

    Cut them all. But who cares? This is meaningless in the context of a budget that is over $1 trillion in shortfall. One party or the other will eventually have to stand up and do 1 of 2 things:

    1. Extract significant savings from Defense, Medicare, and Social Security. — or —

    2. Raise taxes.

    Until somebody does one of those two things, they’re not truly serious about asking the question, “What do we cut?”

    And until voters get it through their thick skulls that small government means lower taxes but also FEWER SERVICES, they’ll continue to be disappointed in the people they elect from either party.

    • ByteMe says:

      And until voters get it through their thick skulls that small government means lower taxes but also FEWER SERVICES, they’ll continue to be disappointed in the people they elect from either party.

      Which is why the LP only gets 5% of the vote at best.

      People will defend the services they get, but not the services other people get. And they’ll satisfy their desire for lower taxes by claiming that there’s too much fraud and abuse in the system when the reality is that we’re spending 30% more than revenues and it ain’t because of fraud or abuse.

      • Agreed. Though you and I probably disagree a bit on what should be a government service and what shouldn’t, you hit this nail directly on the head.

        • ByteMe says:

          The worst part is that the “Balkanization” of Congress is going to make it ridiculously hard to get the situation under control.

  11. Game Fan says:

    I guess I’m the only one here with the BALLS to criticize one of the primary sources of the fraud, corruption, fiscal liberalism, ect… Quite telling how so few aren’t capable of criticizing K-Street, lobbyists, revolving doors, multinational corporations, public/private partnerships, no bid contracts, “military intelligence”, ect… But what’s most surprising is the lack of interest from Democrats. But hey we’ve always got some “great ideas” for more projects and programs for this den of thieves to get involved in. Pardon me while I go vomit.

  12. Game Fan says:

    “You cut” is about as useful as taking a pair of scissors to the edge of a 5-acre stetch of kudzu. And the “voters” with the “thick skulls” never “voted” for the type of skullduggery or abuse of power or corruption. But hey, I can understand if you’re hesitant to criticize the folks a little higher up on the food chain. I understand. Really I do.

  13. Lone Star Georgian says:

    Rampant overspending has little to do with abuse of power or corruption. It has everything to do with giving “the people” what they really want when they claim to want something totally different.

    Blame elected officials all you want. Fine, many suck. But they don’t come from a cabbage patch. Voters choose to put them in office. So, the point is that if a majority of people is serious about change, they should vote for representatives who will tell them what they need to hear rather than what the irrational part of them wants to hear (e.g. “We can fight two decade-long wars without ever raising taxes”).

    • Game Fan says:

      Even if it just has a little to do with it, hey it’s an outrage in my book. Not saying the “blame the voter” concept isn’t viable. But the market may be a little saturated IMHO. Now here’s something different:

      The US Government cannot account for trillions of dollars. The DoD reported $1.1 trillion missing in FY 2000 alone!

      • ByteMe says:

        You — and maybe the site owner — misunderstand what’s being written in the supporting documents. It’s not that $1.1 trillion is missing. DoD budget that year wasn’t anywhere near $1.1 trillion. It has to do with a faulty accounting system in place at that time.

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