They say that raw fraud and waste and inefficiency doesn’t make up a very large part of the budget. They say that all the easy low-hanging fruit has already been picked in the last couple years, and the only stuff left to cut requires hard decisions and painful sacrifices. But I sure keep getting surprised by stories of members of Congress trying to cut spending that I didn’t even know was happening. Here’s the latest:
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators is calling for an end to tens of millions of annual U.S. development aid to China, saying there are more needy countries than the world’s second-largest economy, which has trillions in foreign reserves.
The eight Democrats and four Republicans made their appeal Thursday to a Senate appropriations committee that must approve foreign aid funding for the fiscal year starting in October.
They urge an end to all development aid for China other than for Tibetans and for promoting human rights.
They say since 2001, the U.S. has provided more than $275 million in direct assistance to China, such as for expanding Internet access and improving public transportation.
If we’re still sending million of dollars to China to help them build roads or whatever – something we arguably shouldn’t have been doing in the first place – then I have to believe there’s still billions of dollars of easy cuts out there to horribly inefficient and unnecessary spending. (Also note that this one started when Bush was president.)
The irony with this one is that you could say the money we gave China probably came from China anyway. But the difference between this and China funding their own infrastructure is that we still have to pay the $275 million back.