Everyone knows someone who is horrible with money; some friend or acquaintance who is always up to their neck in credit card debt no matter how much money they earn. You probably try to avoid seeing this person as much as possible because it’s always the same old story when you do. Sadly, rather than remove these people from our lives, we’ve elected them to Congress and they keep sticking us with the check.
This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats, they’re both horrible when it comes to spending. The only differences between the two parties on spending is Republicans pretend to be responsible when they’re not in power, Democrats don’t even bother anymore. That makes Republicans slightly less horrible on spending, which is a little like ranking history’s greatest monsters based on the method of destruction.
But make no mistake, the destruction is coming.
Remember the $100 trillion bill from Zimbabwe? We all laughed when their corrupt government printed denominations that large to keep up with inflation and deficit spending. (I own a couple somewhere, you can still buy them on eBay.) As funny as we found it, people were seriously hurt by it. Thanks to our elected officials and their profligate spending under the guise of “emergency” during the pandemic, we’re a lot closer to a $100 trillion bill of our own.
Why bring this up? It’s not like government setting huge piles of our money on fire is something new, and COVID has only given politicians more cover than public indifference did to waste money. But you’d think a pandemic we’re constantly being told is an emergency requiring prioritizing important things would lead to a break in the traditional waste in government, but you’d be wrong. It’s only served as cover for more of the same.
When it comes to earmarks, both parties are horrible. They’re now trying to call this pork “Congressionally Directed Spending” rather than earmarks, thinking it somehow sounds better. It kind of does, as long as you don’t think about it. The real problem isn’t whether Congress directs where the money is spent or some faceless bureaucrat does, it’s the spending in the first place.
Here are some examples of what Members of Congress think are important enough to spend our great-grandchildren’s money on (let’s be honest, our money, our kid’s money, and our grandkid’s money is already long gone at this point).
Representative Kathy Castor (D-Florida) earmarked $7.7 million for a street car project in Tampa, because it’s 1900 again, or something.
Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) earmarked $18.6 million for a fire station in Kodiak, Alaska, which we have to assume will be made out of 24-karat gold.
Forbes reports Congress is spending “$40 million for museums including a $3.75 million request by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) to upgrade the Waukegan Carnegie Museum through the local park district. In fact, there were 29 earmarks with the word “museum” in the description and requests included a new $6.4 million Gandhi museum (Rep. Al Green D-TX); $2.2 million for the new Bahamian Museum of Art & Culture in Coconut Grove (Rep. Frederica Wilson D-FL); and $792,000 to repair the New England Motorcycle Museum (Rep. Joe Courtney D-CT).”
That’s just a tiny slice of the pie, our pie, they’re divvying up to bolster their reelection prospects. Sound responsible to you?
Of course, our government has never been responsible. Nothing illustrates this like the Pentagon and the saga of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. I’ve written about it before because it’s likely the biggest boondoggle in history. As The Hill describes it, “A projected cost over $1.7 trillion. A fighter jet that exhibits everything from structural cracks to cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Twenty years in development — and it still can’t shoot straight and is rarely ready to fly when it is needed.” Of course it’s still being funded, so why not a street car system?
The F-35 reminds me of the movie “The Pentagon Wars” about the development of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. It’s hilarious and sad at the same time. Billions in cost overruns, failure after failure, but a determination to continue because why not? When it’s not your money, and there are no limits or accountability, what’s to stop you?
That’s what Congress is now – children with a black Amex card and absentee, alcoholic parents who mistake being their kid’s friend for parenting. But we’re the enablers. We elect and reelected these morons, did we really think they’d get better? The only question remaining now is who do we put on our $100 trillion bill?
Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.