Hey Congress, cut the pork!

Summertime is meant for barbecue. But pork steaks are much tastier than the processed pork lawmakers tend to serve, that in turn burns taxpayers while giving special interests their fill.

Congress could learn a lesson from those American families that have cut back on necessities as well as personal wants to balance household budgets.

It’s time to cut off those on all levels of the economic scale that rely on government handouts from neighbors who can no longer afford to support entitlements. It is time for government to begin living under an affordability cap.

While the nation faces a $1.4 trillion budget deficit, Forbes.com last week identified its 2011 list of silliest uses for taxpayer money.

The list includes more than $28 million spent on printing copies of the Congressional Record, which is also found online and not typically a big seller at the local bookstore.

More than $175 million of taxpayer money is being used for the upkeep of hundreds of empty buildings while need continues to mount for affordable housing.

Prison inmates are getting away with misdeeds behind bars while the IRS delivers to them $112 million in fraudulent tax refunds. No wonder there seems to be a growing appeal toward a life of crime.

Researchers make a living on taxpayer money, including $3 million to learn computer games and $1 million to study baby names.

Of course $3 million had to be designated to observe how shrimp perform on a treadmill. We already know they perform great in gumbo.

Then there are the entitlements that represent more than 20 percent of our national economy. They promote repeated generations of families living off working Americans and giants of industry collecting what has become known as corporate welfare.

We support a moral commitment to assist the genuinely disabled and disadvantaged of any demographic. We also recognize the new needy as being those taxpayers that can no longer afford to foot the bill.

We support local communities, churches, charities and businesses that take on the responsibility of caring for those that require assistance. We also believe in personal responsibility and accountability, and contend that publicly elected officials should set an example.

It is time to get serious about cutting pork. Not only slicing that which comes off the coals, but that which has put our economy into a pit.