To everyone who thinks a tax increase is the way to deal with our deficit and debt problems, please read "The Wastebook 2012." This report was recently released by Sen. Tom Coburn and details the 100 most egregious wastes of taxpayer money. Here are just a few:
• A $27 million U.S. Agency for International Development program for pottery classes in Morocco;
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• The Lifeline cellphone program. This program costs taxpayers $1.5 billion annually and subsidizes the cellphone service of 16.5 million Americans. A survey found that almost 10 percent of enrollees shouldn't even be eligible for the program;
• Food stamps for the deceased. The USDA Inspector General found roughly 2,000 dead people are still receiving food stamps in New York and Massachusetts combined. Unnecessary food stamp payments amount to $1.4 million every month.
Clearly government spending is out of control. What's worse, the vast majority of the wasteful spending is not constitutionally authorized. This report only deals with government spending at the federal level. Apply this to state and local governments and it is truly frightening. Please keep these facts in mind the next time you enter the voting booth and are presented with a referendum to raise taxes or are considering a vote for a candidate who favors raising taxes.
Stephen W. DeFilippis