State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
You cannot watch TV or read a newspaper without hearing about the impending fiscal cliff. The federal Budget Control Act (BCA) is scheduled to trigger massive spending cuts that coincide with tax increases, affecting nearly every American.
Without action from the President and Congress, the Tax Policy Center estimates middle class families will pay roughly $2,000 in additional taxes per year. This is a significant blow to our already weak economic recovery.
In addition, the BCA incorporates unprecedented spending cuts to defense, $55 billion per year, domestic programs, $55 billion, and unemployment benefits, $26 billion, among many others. All told, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the fiscal cliff would reduce the deficit $700 billion by the end of next year.
These cuts may be dramatic and may have negative consequences; however, Washington has a severe spending problem, and taxpayer dollars are simply wasted.
Case in point, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released an oversight report about wasteful spending within the Department of Homeland Security. Senator Coburn’s report reveals the department recently:
· Approved $1,000 per person registration fees for a week-long conference at the Paradise Point Resort off the coast of California. The highlight of the event was a zombie apocalypse show on Halloween featuring 40 actors dressed like the undead being mowed down by law enforcement.
· Approved a grant of $285,933 so that the town of Keane, NH, population 23,000, could buy a BearCat armored vehicle with thermal imaging, explosive gas detection, and gun mounts. The town’s annual pumpkin festival was cited as a reason the vehicle was needed.
· Approved $6,200 for Michigan officials to purchase sno-cone machines the recipients claimed would attract volunteers to community events and could fill ice packs in an emergency.
Keep these things in mind while considering federal spending cuts.
Homeland Security spent over $35 billion on grants since 2003. While some of the grants undoubtedly have value, the Federal Government should not be using tax dollars and adding to the $16 trillion national debt to buy sno-cone machines.