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The Unprecedented Intensity of the YouCut Movement

Just two weeks in, Rep. Eric Cantor is thrilled with the success of YouCut, which has already produced two spending reduction proposals. Update: Don't miss PJM DC Bureau Chief Richard Pollock's new interview with Rep. Cantor on PJTV.

Eric Cantor


May 28, 2010 - 12:07 pm

Two weeks ago, the House Republican Economic Recovery Working Group launched YouCut, an initiative that allows people to get involved in their government like never before.

Before we launched the project, I knew that the American people were fed up with the size of government and the culture of spending that has become the norm in Washington. What I didn’t fully anticipate, however, was the level of grassroots intensity that YouCut elicited. During the first week of the project, our website averaged more than 3,000 votes cast an hour and a total of 281,000 votes cast. Since that time, the intensity surrounding the project has not dissipated.

Currently, more than 500,000 votes have been cast and 30,000 people have emailed spending reduction ideas of their own. While these numbers have been incredibly encouraging, what’s been even more assuring is where these votes have been coming from: less than one percent originated from inside the beltway.

YouCut is a citizen movement, completely organic and undeniable. It has struck a chord with folks all across America fed up with leaders in Washington who turn a deaf ear to their concerns. As families have been forced to cut back and make tough choices out of necessity, they look towards Washington — where the exact opposite attitude persists. The Democrat majority in the House, for instance, will likely fail this year to pass a budget resolution for the first time since the modern budget rules were adopted in 1974.

An utter failure in leadership.

On Wednesday, we announced the second YouCut winner. (The first winner was a proposal to eliminate an unnecessary and duplicative $2.4 billion welfare program.) The second cut, introduced by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), would eliminate the latest round of nonmilitary federal employee pay raises. This would save taxpayers $2 billion next year, and approximately $30 billion over the next decade.

We believe this cut should be a no-brainer for Democrats and Republicans alike. There’s no doubt that many federal employees do important work for our country, but this is precisely the kind of spending cut we have to start making to restore some fiscal sanity in America — especially considering the recent report that federal compensation is significantly outpacing that of the private sector.

On Friday, House Republicans will bring this common-sense spending reduction proposal to the floor for consideration. A vote on this week’s YouCut winner will reveal whether Democrat claims of fiscal discipline are real, or just lip service.

The YouCut project won’t singlehandedly solve our national debt problem, but that’s not the point. If we want to avoid the situation facing Europe today and to ensure that our children and grandchildren have the kind of economic security that we enjoyed, then we have to start looking at every possible nook and cranny of federal spending and find ways to cut spending wherever we possibly can.

Please help us spread the word and get out the vote!

Eric Cantor represents Virginia's 7th District.
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