‘You Cut’: GOP Asks Voters for Budget Cuts

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Amid growing concerns over the federal deficit, one Congressman is taking the budget to the people and asking your advice.

You Cut, a program launched by Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), promises to get your voice into the Republican agenda by allowing you to vote online or via text message for a taxpayer-funded program that Republicans will try to eliminate from the budget.

In a video message explaining the initiative Wednesday, Cantor said, "Washington has a spending problem and both Democrats and Republicans bear some responsibility."

How will the program work? Five federally-funded projects are currently on the chopping block:

  • Presidential Election Fund ($260 million in savings) — Provides matching funds for certain candidates in national elections and funding for political conventions.
  • Taxpayer Subsidized Union Activities ($600 million in savings) — Funding for federal employees that work specifically on federal employee union issues.
  • Housing and Urban Development Program for Doctoral Dissertations ($1 million in savings) —Research on "media strategies for housing policy and the use of eminent domain for urban redevelopment," according to Cantor's Web site.
  • New Non-Reformed Welfare Program ($2.5 billion in savings) — Cantor wants to cut this program because the 2009 welfare bill is "a backdoor way to undo" welfare reforms from the 90s.
  • Eliminate Wealthier Communities from the Community Development Block Grant program ($2.6 billion in savings) — Provides funding for "local economic development activities," according to Cantor's Web site.

Once all of the votes from the You Cut Web site and the cell phone voting have been cast and counted, Cantor said the winner will be announced Monday and House Republicans will propose a vote on the spending cut.

It doesn't just stop there, though. Cantor said the process will happen every week so that Republicans can start creating a culture of saving in Congress.

While some are applauding the Republican party's use of technology to directly engage voters, others are calling the whole program a cheap publicity stunt.

"...Any budget cuts proposed by the GOP at this time will instantly be shot down by the House majority. So it’s an exercise that really does nothing and waste congressional GOP leaders’ time. It’s a PR gimmick. How stupid do they think we are?" one RedState blogger asked.

What's your take? Is this a savvy move by the Republican party or just a hollow promise mixed with American Idol’s voting techniques?

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