Congressman Tom DeLay declared “victory” in war on budget fat on Tuesday…stating that there simply isn’t any fat left in the federal budget to cut. When asked if government was operating at maximum efficiency he added “Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we’ve pared it down pretty good.” An interesting theory yet one that has no merit. DeLay even suggested that ‘no one’ has come up with ideas or places to cut further. For starters, Citizens Against Government Waste issues an annual pig book highlighting the wasteful pork barrel projects Congress passes every year – including the infamous ‘bridge to nowhere.’ What’s worse perhaps is the Majority Leaders dismissal of what the leader of his own party has tried to do. President Bush created the Performance Assessment Rating Tool to weed out poor performing programs – yet Congress has virtually ignored recommended cuts. The Heritage Foundation has a great wrap up of the story and options that Mr. DeLay may want to consider for spending cuts.
Geoffrey Segal is the director of privatization and government reform at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. He is also editor of Reason's Privatization Watch.