Among them is $100,000 for Frontier Community College in Fairfield, Ill., to help create a lineman training program (tell me this has nothing to do with football); Georgetown Visitation Monastery, Washington, D.C., for digitization and technology (whatever happened to contemplative monks with pens and scrolls and where is church-state separation when you really need it?); $500,000 for the Aerospace Museum of California Foundation, Inc., McClellan, Calif., for a new interactive exhibit.
This spending monstrosity goes on and on. There is $150,000 recommended for Healthy Eating Lifestyle Principles, Monterey, Calif., for a program to improve nutrition by promoting the accessibility and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in schools. Wouldn't removing the soda and candy machines and serving more fruit and vegetables with lunch accomplish this goal? Why is there a need for a federal program when common sense costs nothing?
There's $300,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware County, Jay, Okla., for equipment and operating expenses for programs to improve diet, physical activity and emotional health. Didn't parents used to perform this service at little or no expense?
Each of these recipients will defend their grants as essential to the nation's health. Some might even claim it helps in the war on terror. The question is whether the federal government should be doing most of it. Why is the Republican Party, the party of "fiscal discipline," which has seriously fallen off the spending wagon, getting in bed with the "tax-and-spend Democrats" they used to criticize?
Boehner's concluding line might have worked better in 1994 when hopes were high that a Republican majority would mean smaller government and less spending: "Reversing the culture in Washington that believes the solution to every problem involves more government and more spending is not easy." It's easier if you haven't spent your principles and care more about staying in office than doing what you promised, but have refused to do.
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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