In typical Washington fashion, the competing versions of the bill went into a conference committee, and lawmakers decked it out like a Christmas tree. The already big-spending bill quickly ballooned as lawmakers added earmarks galore: $20 million for sewer overflow infrastructure in Atchison, Kan.? Check. $15 million for wastewater infrastructure in Willmar, Minn.? Why not? $5 million for drinking water infrastructure for the Village of Kyrias-Joel, N.Y.? Sure. After all, there’s no doubting the compelling national interest of projects such as these.
By the time the final “compromise” had been reached, the bill totaled more than $23 billion. President Bush deserves credit for vetoing it, as do those members willing to vote against it to begin with.
We simply can’t afford to operate this way. Farm subsidies alone cost Americans $25 billion in taxes and another $12 billion in higher food prices year after year. That means each household is shelling out more than $100 each year for food it doesn’t get to eat -- a real problem for working-class families trying to make ends meet.
Washington is “compromising” us, all the way to the poorhouse.