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Rep Emanuel Cleaver (D. MO) Porker of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste named Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) its February 2012 Porker of the Month for calling President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget, which projects deficits above $500 billion each year through FY 2022, “a nervous breakdown on paper” that prematurely “turn[s] off the spigot completely.”  On February 13, while appearing on CNN’s “Starting Point,” Rep. Cleaver declared, “We’re still in a recession, we’re still struggling.  Unemployment is still too high … so, for the federal government to turn the spigot off completely, I think is to push the nation into a deeper economy (sic).”  

Rep. Cleaver’s statement is completely disassociated with reality.  Despite the histrionic wailings of many serial spenders, President Obama’s budget falls far short of austerity.  On the contrary, his FY 2013 budget proposal confirms that the President will break his 2009 promise to “cut the deficit we inherited by half” by the end of his first term in office, since the federal deficit is projected to total $1.3 trillion at the end of FY 2012.  In fact, the President’s budget signifies that he has dropped any façade of cutting or reducing spending, the deficit, or the national debt.  By the Obama administration’s own calculations, the deficit will not fall below $575 billion in the coming decade and will begin climbing again by FY 2022.  Spending will increase by $47 trillion over the next 10 years, a jump of 62 percent from FY 2011 to FY 2022.

By the end of his first term in office, the national debt will have risen by $6.4 trillion.  It took the country 227 years, from 1776 to 2002, to reach $6.2 trillion in debt.  The budget would add another $11 trillion to the debt by 2022, at which time interest payments on the debt would reach $1 trillion annually.

“Rep. Cleaver is right about one thing; President Obama’s budget is ‘a nervous breakdown on paper,’” said CAGW President Tom Schatz, “because it is a complete breakdown of fiscal responsibility.  Rep. Cleaver’s comments that the reputed cuts are ‘draconian’ are indicative of the chronic denial of fiscal realities among some members of Congress and their inability or unwillingness to exert control over their spending mania.  
“Despite the petering out of 2009 stimulus funds, which were pedaled as utterly essential to job growth, the economy sputters and unemployment lingers at record highs.  And yet, if the President’s budget were enacted, real deficit reduction would not begin until FY 2018, two years after he has left office.  The deficit would still be $704 billion in FY 2022 and gross federal debt will have climbed to $25.9 trillion.  On behalf of taxpayers, we at CAGW would like to suggest that Rep. Cleaver and his congressional allies could use a good round of reality-based, behavior modification therapy.”         

For comments that border on delusional and claiming that President Obama’s debt-expanding, spending-heavy 2103 budget proposal amounts to turning off the spending spigot and killing America’s economic recovery, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver is CAGW’s February 2012 Porker of the Month.   

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.