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Cut federal spending by cutting hypocrisy

October 4, 2010 - Mike Maneval
The Washington Monthly's Steve Benin reveals in a Monday blog post that Sandra Greiner has a skeleton in her closet - a skeleton worth nearly $1 million.

Greiner is the president of the American Future Fund, a group that has spent about $5 million on advertising assailing Democrats and federal spending. Greiner is also a candidate for state Senate in Iowa, on a platform of "curbing government spending."

And she is the recipient of nearly $1 million dollars in federal farm subsidies during a span of less than 15 years. When the Associated Press uncovered Greiner's willingness to accept federal funding, she had no comment.

Benin notes Greiner is hardly an exception. Matt Taibbi's recent examination of the tea parties, Benin recalls, included a conversation in Kentucky with David and Janice Wheelock. After David Wheelock told Taibbi, "I'm anti-spending and anti-government," Taibbi asked David what he did for a living and asked the couple if either was on Medicare. Taibbi, in the scathing article written for Rolling Stone this month, notes David Wheelock is a tax accessor, dependent on government for his livilihood, and his wife is drawing Medicare benefits. In the state where Taibbi interviewed the Wheelocks, the Republican nominee for Senate, medical doctor and son of a congressman Rand Paul, denounced Medicare as "socialized medicine," then came out against reducing Medicare payments to doctors like him.

Benin, in a related post, shares some details about Mike Vanderboegh, an activist who describes himself as libertarian and has written in encouragement of opponents of the health care reform act of 2010 throwing bricks through the windows of Democratic politicians. Vanderboegh's main source of income? Government disability checks.

In the past I've suggested some elements of planning to cut spending - adjusting the age of eligibility for Social Security upwards by indexing it life expectancy, abolition of Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage, monitoring and cutting duplicated payments that could be costing the federal government as much as $100 billion a year. Another way to cut some federal spending, however, would be for all these people who claim to hate federal spending worse than I do to get their own hands out of the cookie jar.


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