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Gumming up the Federal money shredder
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Like crack addicts who always need a bigger hit, politicians (etc) and pundits are lining up to whine about being forced to live on the same budget they had in 2006. The Republican majority, writes the Associated Press, has left "almost a half-trillion-dollar clutter of unfinished spending bills" for the Democrats to tackle next year. Two thoughts:
  • The AP writes that these unfinished bills will likely "consume time and energy that Democrats had hoped to devote to their own agenda". That's the most fiscally responsible thing the Republican majority has done in years.


  • Many critics spent the last 6 years complaining that the government was growing too fast. Many of those same critics will not complain that federal agencies cannot possibly be expected to operate at 2006 funding levels.


This might be a victory for fiscal responsibility on a number of levels, though. The Club for Growth's Andrew Roth explains...
[Senators Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint] blocked all of the spending legislation unless it was stripped of wasteful pork. Their antagonists, the appropriators, wanted their budget-busting pork projects, but couldn't risk engaging Coburn and DeMint in a public showdown. ... Had the appropriators challenged Coburn and DeMint, their only weapon would have been to threaten to shut the government down (if the spending bills aren't allowed to pass and a CR is not issued, the government is forced to shut down). And that was something they weren't willing to commit to.

So...if Congress does pass the CR as is currently expected in December, and the Democrats subsequently extend it for a full year, then Coburn and DeMint will have unilaterally saved taxpayers a whopping $17 billion!
[...]
If the appropriators do decide to challenge Coburn and DeMint when the Senate reconvenes on December 4th, then Coburn would force a vote on dozens of amendments that would defund the pork projects ... Alternatively, if the CR does pass in December, and the Democrats decide to try to pass the spending bills rather than issue a full-year CR, then they will be forced to deal with Coburn and DeMint as well. And guess how that will look —- they will be using their new position in the majority to bust a budget with pork projects! And this is after they've spent months and months screaming about the GOP's irresponsible spending habits.
Think about that: the only reason we're not already $17 billion further in the hole is that 2 Senators finally decided their colleagues should have to actually vote on their proposals. For this, they are criticized.

We'd be better off — and the Republican Party's "Limited Government Daddy Party" brand would still be intact — if we had a lot more politicians like Senators Coburn and DeMint exercising fiscal responsibility.
 
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Comments
The AP writes that these unfinished bills will likely "consume time and energy that Democrats had hoped to devote to their own agenda". That’s the most fiscally responsible thing the Republican majority has done in years.
One of your better paragraphs. :-)
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I got a good laugh out of it.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
... which reminds me of a quote...
"You have a kind of sick desperation in your laugh."
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Actually they should all be told that they can expect 1960 funding!

Really must su*k for those agencies that did not exist at the time eh?

 
Written By: TC
URL: http://
"The AP writes that these unfinished bills will likely "consume time and energy that Democrats had hoped to devote to their own agenda"

I thought spending was the Democrats’ agenda.


" That’s the most fiscally responsible thing the Republican majority has done in years"

Sadly, they didn’t do it voluntarily. They don’t seem to have learned anything from becoming a minority.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Nice, Jon. FYI, the Club for Growth blog has picked up this post and linked to it.
 
Written By: Riley, Not O’Reilly
URL: http://allens-a-team.com
US Constitution, Art I, Sec. 7: "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives"

It says a lot about the modern Republican party that "the most fiscally responsible thing the Republican majority has done in years" is to fail to comply with its constitutional obligation to get spending bills passed.

 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
Raising revenue?

Is spending?

Ah, that explains a lot I hadn’t understood up until now Francis.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
constitutional obligation to get spending bills passed.
I’m going to frame that one!
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
"constitutional obligation to get spending bills passed."

"I’m going to frame that one!"

It’s a living constitution, and must adapt to the times. You obviously havn’t. The founding fathers could not have foreseen the dire need for increased spending that we now face.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
hmmm. Last I checked, the Department of Defense was planning on spending something on the order of $400 billion in fiscal ’06-’07. Justice, Interior and Homeland Security (to pick three cabinet-level agencies more or less at random) are also planning on spending non-trivial sums of money.

Developing and authorizing the budgets of federal agencies is one of the most important jobs of the House. Yet the current Congress refuses to do its job and this is seen as a good thing?

 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
No, Francis. They’ve already passed a resolution that continues funding for another year.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net

 
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