December 11, 2010
That paltry “1% of the budget” amounts to $16 Billion
Our representatives in congress are getting fed up. Especially republicans. They kowtowed to the rubes on the right during the campaign, swearing off the GOP’s disgraceful spending excesses when last in power. Fiscal responsibility, spending cuts and balanced budgets – republicans said what we wanted to hear.
But now we the people for some reason expect a say in how congress spends/wastes our tax dollars. And the electorate’s first demand is, of all things, an end to one of congress’s most beloved perks – Earmarks. Federal spending bills, traded back and forth like tokens, to fund a congressional member’s pet projects, which usually benefit themselves and/or major campaign contributors.
Last week our senators made it clear that’s going too far. The senate, including eight republicans, voted down a measure banning earmarks. And after all, what are we the rubes hollering about anyway? As senators of both parties keep harping, earmark expenditures amount to only 1% or so of the budget. Why just look at this chart you …you …you right wing idiots. Peanuts!
That paltry 1%, however, amounts to over 16 Billion dollars. And the problem, senators, is that you think that $16 billion belongs to you.
Earmarks are necessary, our representatives insist, to fund emergency programs throughout the country that would not necessarily qualify for federal appropriations. Orphanages and collapsing infrastructure are the implication. Private jet airports conveniently located near the home of, and named after, a sponsoring member of congress are far more like it. As are the billions of tax dollars earmarked to fund village parks, town square embellishments, studies on local wildlife mating habits, and the infamous bridges to nowhere. Expenditures state or local officials would not dare to levy through property or sales tax increases, but are levied on federal taxpayers to enable congressional representatives to “bring home the bacon”.
The idea of the federal government confiscating a percentage of a citizen’s income was so foreign to our country’s founders that the federal income tax did not even exist prior to 1913. By 2010 our elected representatives’ sense of self importance and entitlement has swelled to the point that tax dollars are looked upon as a re-election slush fund.
How many mortgage payments could have been made, how many medical bills paid, how many credit card balances cleared, how many retirement programs or college educations funded for the year, how many charitable efforts could have been provided for with that 16 billion dollars that you consider to be pocket change senators?
The money you play with senators comes from only one source, the sweat of the American people. Our nation is now $14 trillion in debt, a tab run up by both political parties. How many hours of labor will be required to reduce that debt a mere 16 billion dollars?
None – if you’re a United States Senator
Category: Taxes And Spending