Thursday, February 4, 2016

It's the spending, stupid!

"Yes, I will use that word. Because we are all a bit stupid for putting up with this madness. And this madness is wrecking the country!"

Who among us can ever forget the now famous line that James Carville coined during the 1992 Presidential election. "It's the economy, stupid!" At the time, that line was like nails on the chalkboard for many of us on the right side of the street. However over the years, we have borrowed it, changed it, and used it on the other side. Now I would like to use it on both sides.

I think one of my comrades in the local Tea Party Patriots is really on to something. Many of the problems we are facing right now are all about spending. And it seems to be the only bipartisan event both sides of the aisle can agree on. Who can spend the most. So the finger of blame is spread far and wide on this one.

My friend goes on to say we need to take dramatic action to stop this madness. A total intervention in the manner of constitutional amendments to both our federal and states constitutions. To me that is like telling a drunk we have tried all the treatments available, and none have worked, so now we are going to have to commit the drunk to a sanitarium. However, before we do that, I would like to try some last ditch efforts first. And for the purpose of this article, I will only focus on the federal government.

First an example. Large, unmanageable, unreadable bills like the omnibus funding bill for GFY 2016 provide excellent hiding places for all kinds of needless crap. In fact, if we had the time and the inclination to dissect this 2,000 page bill page by page, there would no doubt find hundreds of earmarks. And then the next thing you know, you have a bill (now law) tagged at over $1T!

First thing. Pressure Congress into passing a law mandating that omnibus bills are illegal. Funding bills should be broken down into individual "silos" so they can be understood and then debated. Next, Congress should pass a law mandating each and every program in the federal government be not only audited, but the "temperature" taken each and every year to ensure the viability of the program. Many of these long lasting programs are nothing but fertile ground for waste, fraud, abuse and redundancy.

The next one is a big one. Article One to the Constitution. Congress should no longer fund departments which make no sense for the country. And I am thinking about half the cabinet posts might fall into that category. In addition, should an agency (such as Justice) fail to live up to its charter due to political considerations, that agency should be stripped clean of all its funding. Right now Congress reminds me of Clark Kent not realizing he is Superman. Guess what Clark? You have super powers! Now use them!

Time to act smart. Acting stupid has gained us nothing except confiscatory taxes and a crippling debt. I'm ready - are the rest of us?

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