I vant to lay you offYou know what we DON’T need, especially in this economy? An agency dedicated to spurring economic growth, encouraging exports, and funding investment in local businesses, that’s what. Chris Chocola, a former Republican congressman and current president of the Club For Growth, took to The Hill yesterday to make these and other incoherent arguments about why we will all benefit from laying off 47,000 and destroying an agency dedicated to economic recovery. For example:

According to its own website, the agency has a budget of approximately eight billion dollars and employs nearly 47,000 people. Many of its functions are unnecessary or easily merged into other departments.

How better to address chronic unemployment than by laying off 47,000 people?  Of course, they work for the government so these jobs don’t count. What other brilliant suggestions does Chris Chocola have, now that he’s suggested that we maybe fire about 50,000 people?

Take one, a program in the Commerce Department called the Economic Development Administration (EDA) that costs hundreds of millions of dollars. Not surprisingly, the “economic development” benefits are dubious and the program has turned into a corporate welfare slush fund for members of Congress. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina has identified EDA grants that went to a wine tasting room, a tourism promotion program in the Northern Mariana Islands, and an “innovation conference center” in Arkansas.

Senator Jim DeMint huh. Is that the same Senator Jim DeMint that recently participated in a workshop to “highlight competitive funding opportunities available to community businesses and organizations” and included representatives from the Economic Development Administration? And why would the capitol of the great state of Arkansas need a conference center anyway?

But that’s not all. The Commerce Department also spends millions of dollars in subsidies for fishermen as well. For example, the Cato Institute estimated that in 2010, the Commerce Department spent $74 million on Pacific salmon state grants and $35 million on fisheries promotion. The fishing industry should be allowed to rise and fall on its own two feet, and not receive taxpayer subsidies at any time – much less when we’re $15 trillion in debt. We have a United States Trade Representative who is supposed to be in charge of promoting trade. However, the Commerce Department also has an agency called the International Trade Administration, which hands out wasteful export subsidies that are already duplicated (many times over) by other government agencies. Cato estimates that its elimination in 2010 would have saved taxpayers $389 million.

Yeah the fishing industry is not at all like the oil industry, which Chris Chocola thinks should be given incentives to spur production.  Salmon is a totally different story. And helping American businesses sell their goods abroad—that can’t possibly generate money for the American economy.

Politicians in Washington have been asking the wrong questions for years. For too long the Democrats have spent every dollar that wasn’t nailed down. The Republicans haven’t quite spent every last dollar, but they’re almost as bad as the Democrats. Only a fool would believe that the current rate of spending by our government is sustainable. Instead of asking how we slow the rate of growth of government, why don’t we actually get serious about cutting government by ending and reforming government agencies?

Yes, DEMOCRATS have spent every dollar that wasn’t nailed down.  Remember when Democrats pissed away hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue in order to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires? How about when they started a war in Iraq that cost oh, three trillion dollars, give or take? Oh! And remember when the Democrats created the third largest existing government agency? Yeah. Me neither.

[The Hill]

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  • Barb

    You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there is a luxury tax and rich people go to jail.

    I have SCOTUS stress right now.

  • chascates

    Club for Growth means growth in plutocrats' net worth.

    • It's not just a name, it's a command.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        You got those special sunglasses, don't you?

    • noodlesalad

      Is that a Club for Growth in your pocket or are you just happy to see people getting laid off?

  • GunToting[Redacted]

    I saw someone comment recently that it was the LIBERALS who are responsible for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, since most of the D's voted to support the war resolution, so the deficit spending is really the Democrats' fault.

    I laughed and laughed.

    • Serolf_Divad

      Repeat the big lie often and loudly enough and people will come to believe it.

      That said, I'm a registered Green specifically because of the outcome of the 2003 Senate vote. The Dems were by no means responsible for Iraq, but more than half of them lacked the balls to vote against it.

  • OurHoboSenator

    I want to say something, but LifeHacker says snark is bad for you.

    • Terry

      That's just because the LifeHacker folks, bless their hearts, are bad at it.

  • noodlesalad

    God bless the Club for Growth. If only we had them in the 19th century, we'd still have low-cost slave and child labor, no whales clogging up our oceans, and all the dark, soory water and air a truly self-regulated and free person could drink and breathe, until dying at the age of 28.

    • PsycWench

      Don't forget marrying our girls off by the age of 14 or so, so that they could fulfill God's plan by pupping out the maximum number of offspring before dying of exhaustion or childbirth.

  • Estproph

    Government employees aren't really employed. They don't make any money, so they don't pay any taxes or put any money into the economy at all.

    This message brought to you by People Who Are Too Stupid To Understand How Things Really Work.

    • chascates

      I think it's the constant drumbeat from the right that drills stupidity into the gullible. Here's a bit from one of the their blogs today:
      As the day of judgment approaches, half the country sits waiting for a small group of men and women to decide how many of our civil rights we get to keep. After two flawed decisions that draw not from the Constitution, but from policy and opinion, we wait hopefully for a third opinion that will set us free.

      • Estproph

        Christ. They are delusional.

        • Free at least! Free at least! Thank GOD almighty, we are free at least!

      • GunToting[Redacted]

        Let's see if I can guess the two decisions which removed our civil rights: Bush v. Gore, and Citizens United.

        What do I win?

        • Terry

          The Patriot Act, can't forget that abomination. Not only did that piece of legislation significantly erode our civil rights, it screwed up goddamn NyQuil.

          • GunToting[Redacted]

            True, but without BvG, the Patriot act would not exist. Ipso facto, QED, etc…

          • Terry

            I have allergies. The authors of the Patriot Act, along with a bunch of meth heads, made my life more difficult.

      • PsycWench

        Do you think they realize that the Constitution is a government thing, not a list of talking points?

      • AbandonHope

        This is a bit OT, but recently while driving to work I've been seeing these bumper stickers that read "Protect Religious Liberty" — illustrated with the Statue of Liberty holding a cross aloft instead of the torch. Okay, I understand the whole pun on "liberty," but could they have chosen a more ironic image to represent supposed religious freedom?

        I have SUCH an urge to make an identical sticker but have it read "Protect Christian Hegemony". At least then it would make sense!

        • Biel_ze_Bubba

          In the Xtard Dictionary, "Religious" is a synonym for "Christian." Everything else is pagan, idolatrous, blasphemous, heathen, secular, etc. etc. etc., and otherwise lumped into the huge category of Things That God Hates.

      • GeneralLerong

        If there actually were such a thing as karma or justice, these people would quickly develop debilitating and preferably deadly medical conditions. Then they could go bankrupt thanks to their inadequate insurance, and die.

        So far only 45,000 citizens a year are dying because they don't have health insurance. We really need to get to work on that number and at least triple it, preferably amongst white GOP voters. Sorry, Gramps, we just quadrupled your Medicare co-pay. Gotta do your bit to reduce that deficit you keep soiling your depends about, yah?

  • elburritodeluxe

    I guess it don't make no sense… if you ignore the obvious benefits of bombing and maiming Islamics (hint: Jesus' Second Coming).

  • PsycWench

    "the program has turned into a corporate welfare slush fund for members of Congress such as Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina " That's what this sentence was intended to say, no?
    Seriously, when did it become common to use "wasteful", "unnecessary" and "duplicative" as shorthand for "it is not to my liking"?

    • Serolf_Divad

      The same day "liberal" became shorthand for "my opponent."

  • I see "Club For Growth" but read "Hair Club For Men". Why is that?

    • viennawoods13

      I don't know, but I too saw that.

    • PsycWench

      I saw "Chris Christie" next to "Club for Growth" and thought, now that's alarming.

    • BaldarTCrabass

      I experience the same confusion every time I see "Club for Growth," and always have. Thing is, I have a full head of hair and by the miracle of genetics it appears as though I will until the day I die.

      • First, let me say this the kindest way possible: Fuck you for having hair.

        Second, that certainly would explain my confusion. Well, that and the fact that their executive staff all look like Sy Sperling. Especially the women.

        • MosesInvests

          I have hair-it's just migrated down from the top of my head.

    • Terry

      Because both appeal to fat, nasty old men.

    • 12X34X

      Must have been all the hot tubs.

  • viennawoods13

    mmmm De MInt Chocula, so good!

  • James Michael Curley

    EDA gave Arkansas $1 milllion? Mitt Romney takes that much to CoinStar each week in one or both of Ann's Cadillacs.

  • BaldarTCrabass

    Remember when male-pattern baldness and penis enlargement were the primary concerns of the Club for Growth?

  • GunToting[Redacted]

    I keep reading that fish oil is healthy for you, but based on the CFG's advice I'm chucking those pills and picking up some light sweet crude.

    • AbandonHope

      I hear it goes down smooth and pairs well with Brawndo.

    • HistoriCat

      Get it along with the eyeless shrimp – delicious!

  • An innovation conference center in Arkansas is sort of like a Muslim Gay Marriage Chapel in Mississippi.

  • Baconzgood

    "You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due."

    -Kitten eating Lord of the Dark Realm-

  • Limeylizzie

    Here's a lovely wake-up picture for you, those still in bed may want to masturbate.

    • Baconzgood

      Is she holding a coupon for a new brain?

    • Is that her birth certificate or her Swiss citizenship card?

      • Ruhe

        It's a golden ticket. Let's hope the UmpaLoompas can't save her from whatever mess she gets into at the chocolate factory.

    • cheetojeebus

      Fucking hell, I am not looking forward to this.

    • Barb

      I love the first comment on this link!

    • jodyleek

      Her eyes are crossed. She must see two of everything. That's why she thinks the government's so big.

    • Thank you for that link and my first laugh of the day.

  • I think we should get rid of all the things that I don't personally benefit from.

    • Tax all foreigners living abroad.

      • Tax the blonde in my bed. Or rather, let her tax me.

    • MosesInvests

      You have just encapsulated the *entire* philosophy of the Republican Partei.

  • a tourism promotion program in the Northern Mariana Islands

    Say, wasn't a disgraced and arrested former Republican House Majority Leader deeply intent on improving trade relations with the Marianas Islands?

    Some other guy was involved….Jack….Jack Meoff? Something like that….

    • BaldarTCrabass

      Nah, it was Heywood Jablomie.

      • I think he and Ben Dover played golf with Ben's sister Aileen.

    • MosesInvests

      Abraham Jackoff.

  • randcoolcatdaddy

    Well, this is good news for pay day loan companies and manufacturers of cardboard boxes.

  • ChernobylSoup

    Arkansas is just Alabama waiting to happen. That Innovation Conference Center was a last ditch effort to keep us from going full retard.

  • scorpy1

    "Cato estimates that its elimination in 2010 would have saved taxpayers $389 million."

    Pfft, that's not even enough to cover the cost of building a time machine to make it happen.
    That said, mental masturbation never has a cost.

    • Doktor Zoom

      How much progress would be made by eliminating the Cato Institute?

      • scorpy1

        About $21-23 million in progress, roughly. That's a lot of progress!

  • mavenmaven

    Lie, Lie, Lie, destroy people's lives, lie some more, and then blame the black man.

    • Best summary of the Republican platform I've read in quite some time.

  • Goonemeritus

    I hate this death by a thousand cuts why not just pull the Band-Aid off quick. Clearly we should zero out all spending other than military and then turn control of the military over to Exon.

    • James Michael Curley

      Having had small parts in procurement for both the military and Mobil, there is no guarantee that scheme will save any money.

      Military kept sending us replacement helicopter blades for a model we no longer had.
      Trip for Mobil had the department manager hosting a lunch at Ma Mason (in Beverly Hills). which came to $12,000 for 8 people in 1981. (He gave himself and each of his guests a case of vintage Veuve Cliquot. I attended but did not get champagne).

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Well, taking that to it's logical conclusion, if we just stone cold fired everybody in the entire government and dismantled it completely, the economy would go right through the fucking roof, just like it has in Somalia.

    • chascates

      You, sir, will have your own Fox News show before long.

    • Let's start with all, and I mean ALL, the lawyers, as Shakespeare suggested.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        No government AND no laws … talk about your freedumbs!

    • But at least you could shoot that motherfucker next door that keeps annoying you without fear having to worry about the police, or laws, or well, your own safety.

  • Allmighty_Manos

    I'm waiting for Sen. Frankenberry to weigh in on this.

    • Barb

      Hes being lobbied by Quisp and Quake.

    • Sen. BooBerry (D) has your back.

  • BarackMyWorld

    This makes about as much sense as Paul Ryan's explanation.

  • If there is a Department of Spiders, we should get rid of it because they are scarey.

    • randcoolcatdaddy

      We do. Dick Cheney started it.

  • Tourism promotion in the Mariana Islands is only cool with Republicans when it inolves manipulating religious-right tribalism in order to protect sweatshop labor and sex trafficking.

  • Doktor Zoom

    I always mix up "The Club For Growth" and the conspiracy-theory bugbear "The Club of Rome." And with the three of clubs, too, sometimes.

  • An_Outhouse

    "EDA grants that went to a wine tasting room"

    I fucking love wine tasting! Chocola needs to be taken out back and given a sound beating.

    • HarryButtle

      There IS a wine industry in the USA, isn't there? And wine tastings promote the wine industry, right?

  • fawkedifiknow

    Chocola asks why his (hare/hair?-brained) proposal to eliminate, roughly, 80% of the government isn't "a no-brainer for Congress"?

    I have to concede, on those terms, they are qualified.

  • chascates

    Any one know when the vote on Holder's contempt charge is scheduled today?

    • About five minutes after SCOTUS speaks

  • Of course, he'll also be willing to eliminate the free healthcare for life he receives as a former congressman. You know, to reduce spending and the size of government.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    Anything that keeps unemployment high is good for the GOP, ergo it's good for America. What's so hard to understand?

  • chascates

    The Holder vote will take place during the Transportation/HUD appropriations bill, as per Daily Kos' 'Today in Congress':

    Meanwhile the Senate also has important matters to onsider:
    Adopted S.Res.511, commending the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes Softball Team for winning the 2012 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Softball Championship.
    Adopted S.Res.512, recognizing the 100th anniversary of Rice University.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    Ineffective? Haven't you noticed what huge pricks they are?

  • With some of the elections on Tuesday, it looks like an endorsement from "The Club for Growth" is once again back to being a guaranteed kiss of death for any candidate unfortunate enough to receive one. Can they and Grover Norquist just wrestle to the death in a bathtub already?.

  • elburritodeluxe

    The ball is now in your court, Bo(eh)ner!. Please, please, introduce legislation to allow insurance companies to limit coverage for pre-existing conditions and to set lifetime limits on care! Let's see how that flies.

  • You can tell Count Chocula is a Republican, because he keeps going on about the "Blahs."

  • Callyson

    the “economic development” benefits are dubious and the program has turned into a corporate welfare slush fund for members of Congress

    Yes, that's a good description of today's Wall Street.

    Wait, you were talking about something else?

  • will someone please liveblog mittens as i can only get my mittens news via wonkette.

  • 12X34X

    A huge reason as to why we may be $15 trillion in debt is the vast sums of corporate welfare repubs love to dole out to the military industrial complex and outsourcing multi-nationals.

  • notanncoulter

    "Club For Growth"?
    Aren't they the people that have been clogging up my spam folder for years with their magical growth/enlargement formula?
    Yes – the same honest people.

  • DahBoner

    I thought people didn't put those clubs on their steering wheel anymore?

  • ttommyunger

    I'm all for reducing costs, how about we start with the insane perks and retirement bennies for our Congressidiots?

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