Skip to comments.Hillary, Schumer Top 'Porkers'
Posted on 02/14/2005 6:36:13 PM PST by wagglebee
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) Monday named New York Sens. Hillary Clinton (D) and Charles Schumer (D) the Co-Porkers of the Month for February for pledging to fight the President's reforms of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
Sens. Clinton and Schumer lashed out at the President, with Sen. Clinton describing the federal grants as "a lifeline" for New Yorkers. President Bush's fiscal 2006 budget includes 154 program cuts or terminations, saving a total of $20 billion. The CDBG program, which is providing $4.7 billion to cities and towns nationally in fiscal 2005, is on that list.
The budget proposes transferring CDBG from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Department of Commerce, merging it with 17 other economic development programs with total funding of $3.7 billion.
The administration has focused its program reductions and consolidations in part on its Program Assessment Rating Tool, which concluded the CDBG program is "ineffective," citing an "unclear purpose, loose targeting requirements, and lack of results" as reasons for change.
The Bush plan would require cities to submit their proposals in advance and compete for funds.
Sen. Schumer called the plan a "meat axe approach" to reducing the deficit, saying CDBGs "are the single most important tool that cities like New York have to grow."
Sen. Clinton said the CDBG program "is a lifeline for many individuals already struggling to make ends meet. And now the President wants to leave them out in the cold."
But it has been taxpayers who have been left out in the cold, footing the multi-billion bill for a program that lacks accountability and is rife with waste and mismanagement.
Localities have wide latitude in using the grants and Congress does a poor job of tracking where the money gets spent.
Past grants have included $19,000 for Christmas lights, $21,000 for a picnic, and $250,000 for "streetscape improvements." Beneficiaries of CDBGs are often served by other programs at the state, local, for-profit, and non-profit levels.
Politicians have steered CDBGs to theaters, opera houses, and museums in wealthy areas. Last fall, the Buffalo News reported that Buffalo had squandered much of the block grant money it had received over the past 30 years. Far from being an essential tool for combating poverty, CDBGs have become just another budgetary channel for pork and waste.
Sen. Schumer makes the absurd contention that federal handouts are the engine of New York's economy. With a gross state product of $826 billion in 2001, "losing" $150 million in CDBGs would hardly constitute a catastrophic blow to the state's economy.
The real issue in New York is the negative impact of highest tax burden of any state - an undeniable drag on economic growth. New York City's rent control laws cause landlords to neglect capital improvements or abandon properties altogether.
Sen. Clinton's comment that budget cuts will leave residents "out in the cold" is laced with irony, considering that recipients of CDBGs often drive local stores and real estate investors out of business.
For resisting much-need reforms in a wasteful program, for exaggerating the supposed benefits of CDBGs, and for leaning on federal grants to cover up local problems, CAGW names New York Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer its February Porkers of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.
No, they are just the 'Rats most viable vote-buying scheme.
Nice to see the Dems trying to "bring us together" and lower the rhetoric, eh?
I'm always amused by the democrats crying about Bush wanting to cut these great programs when they never gave him credit for funding them in the first place. Somehow our grandparents managed to survive without all these handouts, I have a sense those affected by these won't be suddenly singing for their supper. For their cable, maybe.
The title could be taken 2 ways. Of course, the second way makes you want to gouge out your eyes and vomit.
"New York City's rent control laws cause landlords to neglect capital improvements or abandon properties altogether." considering what a one bedroom apartment costs in Manhattan, rent control is a blessing for some people
Hillary a porker? Who knew? :)
They don't call them Razorbacks for nothing.
With one of the nation's largest populations, wouldn't NY get more fed welfare money than all but one or 2 states?
And picks the pocket of all the other people. Landlords don't have the rent payments they need to build new property and invest in the ones they own. Renters can't FIND new apartments because of it.
Rent control is the best example of the law of unintended consequences that socialism's ever come up with.
Amen, brother! And I can't even imagine what kind of police state NY will become if Eliot Spitzer becomes the governor.
Hillary, Schumer Top 'Porkers'
Is this another joke about Hillary's thighs?
Hey Hitlery, where are those 20,000 new jobs you promised to Upstate NY?
I laugh when "people" say that we couldn't save billions of dollars if we cut government waste and pork.
"Feed 'em the slop"