The Alternative Minimum Tax, which he says is "based on an accounting lie," will cost taxpayers $1 trillion over the next 10 years. America, he writes, spends $700 billion a year on various welfare programs, amounting to $65,000 for each poor family of four, yet we still have the poor with us. Both political parties, Gross charges, secretly encourage illegal immigration (the Democrats for votes, the Republicans for cheap labor) and then reward the immigrants' children with automatic U.S. citizenship.
Gross has discovered 1,000 duplicate programs that waste billions. The Bush administration's signature education issue, "No Child Left Behind," has left behind a lot of misspent money: $24 billion per year, according to Gross, even as primary and secondary education "continue to spiral downward."
Medicare and Medicaid waste $150 billion a year dealing with doctor and hospital fraud; $45 billion a year is wasted on "improper" payments and even more on "unnecessary agencies." The Des Moines Federal Home Loan Bank funded research, Gross writes, that found 1,399 government programs handling disappearing rural areas.
If you haven't vented enough this summer at your local town hall meeting, this book will keep your blood pressure up and your motivation to do something about overspending high into the next election. Publisher's Weekly wrote in its review: "A fiery A-Z compendium of government greed, chicanery, and plain incompetence. Gross enjoys a good rant, but his criticism are sound and well-supported."
Gross does more than just list government's sins. He offers a solution on "How to Better Govern America." If ever there was a must-read for people who are sick of the way government operates, this is it.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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