Remember the Omnibus budget bill? Congress went on another budget spending spree just before leaving town for Christmas in 2007 and guest who paid for all the goodies. You are right – the taxpayers. Many feel they acted responsibly in hurriedly passing an omnibus budget bill because, in combination with earlier defense appropriations, it keeps discretionally spending for fiscal 2008 in line with President Bush’s cap of $932 billion. While Congress used different tactics to distort the numbers, Senators and Representatives piled on the pork by earmarking billions to more than 11,300 of their pet projects. As a result – the bill actually puts the government more that $20 billion over budget.
Listen, if we’re ever going to get a grip on the nearly $10 trillion of debt our children and grandchildren will have to cut checks for, we have got to start saying enough is enough, and start drawing the line somewhere. A million dollars in more pork may be a rounding error to some accountant in Washington, but it’s the little things that count, and boy they sure do add up after 10 trillion “rounding errors”.
It’s a good thing that all three presidential candidates have embraced the Senate’s efforts to ban pork spending next year. The publicity these three drum up is unprecedented, so the fact that they are talking about ending pork spending is a good start. The budget amendment sponsored by Senator John McCain “could be the biggest opportunity to change the culture of earmarks we ever have had,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a lead sponsor of the Senate budget amendment. Not only that, but it will force opponents on both sides of the aisle, especially Obey and Pelosi, to either show their true colors by fighting the bill or give in to political and public pressure by supporting the move. Either way, the passing of this amendment is excellent for our country but bad business for lawmakers hoping to build a bridge to nowhere so they can make their career go somewhere.