LAMBRO: The cuts that didn’t bleed

Fears of sequestration doom prove overblown

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The special joint committee, formed in October under a deal by Congress to end the government shutdown, has until Dec. 13 to come up with a compromise budget. It remains to be seen whether an agreement can be reached, let alone pass the House and the Senate.

Certainly, there are plenty of places where big budget cuts can be made, and few Americans would notice. Let’s start with Mr. Obama’s $90 billion green-energy slush fund that has doled out money to a number of companies that have gone bankrupt, leaving taxpayers holding the bag full of bad loans and grants. Many of the recipients of this money were big contributors to his campaign.

An estimated 50 energy companies bankrolled by the Obama regime went broke or are now in financial distress. Mr. Obama says his pet program will continue no matter how much money it is losing. The liberal Brookings Institution says the administration will spend more than $150 billion on energy boondoggles such as this one if the program continues.

The Department of Agriculture dishes out billions of dollars in farm subsidies, much of it to wealthy farmers or to rich investors who owned companies that received such subsidies. The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research outfit, recently reported the government shelled out $11.3 million in taxpayer subsidies from 1995 to 2012 to 50 billionaires or businesses that owned an interest in large farming enterprises. These recipients included Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, investment tycoon Charles Schwab, and S. Truett Cathy, who owns fast-food chain Chick-fil-A.

“The billionaires who got the subsidies have a collective net worth of $316 billion, according to Forbes magazine,” The New York Times reported.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program has spent tens of billions of dollars in upscale, wealthy communities that do not meet the minimum test of need.

A typical example of this program’s wasteful spending was exposed by Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, in his annual Waste Book: A New Hampshire beer brewing company “is still getting a $750,970 … grant to build a new brewery and restaurant facilities.”

The government is awash in similarly wasteful federal spending, not to mention hundreds of billions of dollars in widespread fraud, abuse and other forms of rampant fiscal skullduggery. It’s a tawdry business Mr. Obama never discusses because he is one of its most enthusiastic practitioners.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.

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