When the Democrats across the country ran for control of congress in 2006, they did so citing massive pork and overspending by the Republicans controlling the federal government. And they were right, the Republicans over the previous six years had spent us into more and more debts all the while making sure that as much money as they could get went back to their local communities in the form of pork projects.
Unfortunately, it appears that once they won election the Democratic leadership have decided that playing politics is more fun than tending the till.
In the current bill being debated concerning the funding of the Iraq war, the Democrats are pulling out all of the stops to get enough people on board so that they can add a deadline along with the funding. Of course, this is well within their right to do as the party in power. However, they apparently don’t have enough votes for the bill on it’s merits so they have gone to the tried and true method of gaining support: Cash. In fact, the spending bill is currently up to $21 billion dollars more than the President has asked for.
According to reporting by The Washington Post
For Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), there is $25 million for spinach growers hurt by last year’s E. coli scare. For three conservative Democrats in Georgia, there is $75 million for peanut storage. For lawmakers from the bone-dry West, there is $500 million for wildfire suppression. An additional $120 million is earmarked for shrimp and Atlantic menhaden fishermen.
For more than a year, Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R) has tried unsuccessfully to secure federal funds to prevent salt water from intruding on rice fields in his lowland Louisiana district. So it came as a surprise last week when Boustany found $15 million in the House’s huge war spending bill for his rice farmers. He hadn’t even asked that the bill include it.
So many people have expected more from this congress because of the promises they made to gain control. I wonder if the let down is worse for them who actually thought that this congress would be different than the previous since that expectation was there? Or will they be defended to the end by their supporters as having to play the game. Why, perhaps if they just has a BIGGER majority then they wouldn’t have to play these games…
The news on the budget front isn’t looking much better either, so far there appears to be no move to decrease the amount of money that the federal government spends each year. I’m not sure how they intend to start paying down the debt that is going to be crushing us soon, but it’s going to be very hard to accomplish while spending more and more each year.
I often wonder who’s more at fault though; those who get into office and find that they must play the game and get as much federal funds back to their local voters as they can, or the voters themselves who demand fiscal responsibility, just as long as they get their ‘more than fair’ share. We keep sending mostly the same kind of people to congress.
As Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”