Bachmann, Paulsen, Kline Join Sunset Caucus To Eliminate Wasteful Government Programs

Written by Derek Brigham.

Minnesota Representatives Michelle Bachmann (R6), and Erik Paulsen (R3), and John Kline (R2) are part of Sunset Caucus unveiled today will provide for the permanent elimination, de-funding, or repeal of a federal program, agency, or department at a date certain. Here are a few slaps to the head to help us understand just how out of hand things have gotten lately:

·        The deficit has increased by $1.678 trillion or 1,035.8% in the little more than two years.

·        The President’s budget calls for the public debt to double within five years and to triple within ten years.  

·        This year’s deficit is projected to be $1.84 trillion—four times the next highest deficit in U.S. history.  

·        The federal government will borrow 46 cents for every dollar it spends in FY 2009.

So what is this Sunset Caucus? Here are the details form the Paulsen press release:

Congressman Erik Paulsen announced he has joined the Sunset Caucus, a new Congressional caucus dedicated to protecting taxpayers and shrinking the size of government by eliminating wasteful government programs and spending.  

“As government spending and deficits skyrocket, the American people are looking for real action that will shrink the size of government and eliminate wasteful spending,” said Paulsen.  “For too long, politicians have merely paid lip service to these issues.  This caucus will push for action when it comes to eliminating government waste.”

The Sunset Caucus requires its members to identify one or more federal program that has outlived its usefulness or should never have been enacted and work to either repeal or de-fund the program.  

As a member, Congressman Paulsen will continue his work to halt payments from American ratepayers into the Nuclear Waste Fund.  Over $375 million in fees from Minnesotans and over $30 billion nationwide have been collected, only to be continually stalled by Washington politicians preventing the construction of a repository at Yucca Mountain. To date, the Yucca Mountain repository has not been built and the Administration has signaled it will not move forward with it.  Elimination of this program will ensure  Minnesota, along with 38 other states, are no longer forced to foot the bill for a service that is not being provided.

Here's more from a TownHall post by Bachmann today

Members of Congress often rail against the loss of taxpayer dollars to waste, fraud, and abuse. They are always ready to sharpen their image of fiscal responsibility by calling for greater savings by eliminating excessive spending. But the vigilance of too many Members stops there. Today, my colleagues and I in the Republican Study Committee unveiled the Sunset Caucus to provide an easy opportunity for Congress to reduce the federal budget.

The Sunset Caucus is designed to shrink our ballooning government budget by eliminating federal programs, offices, and agencies that are duplicative or obsolete. 

As Ronald Reagan once said, “a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth.”

As a member of the Sunset Caucus, I will select some program or agency that has outlived its usefulness, duplicates other government programs or that Congress never had any business creating in the first place.  The fight for the taxpayers has to start somewhere.

The average federal program duplicates five other programs. For example, there are about 60 separate welfare programs, approximately160 job training programs, and over 300 economic development programs. When American families are struggling to make ends meet, Congress should be looking for ways to tighten the government’s belt too, and this is a good place to start.

If we can’t make the easy decision to cut this kind of wasteful spending, is it is any wonder the American people are doubtful of Washington’s intentions to make the so-called “difficult choices.”