Let the good times roll
Published 6:55 am Sunday, March 1, 2009
While many of us “Let the Good Times Roll” as we celebrated Mardi Gras last week, it seems as though President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress have taken these words to heart as they continue on a massive spending spree.
Less than two weeks ago, a $1 trillion “stimulus” bill was rammed through Congress. Putting this extraordinary amount of money in perspective, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “if you spent $1 million a day, every day since Jesus was born, you still wouldn’t have spent $1 trillion.”
Now, the Democratic House leadership pushed through a $410 billion omnibus spending bill at the same time the president set forth a budget outline based on tax increases and bigger government.
Last year, the Democratic majority chose not to finish all of the spending bills for the fiscal year 2009; therefore, Congress passed a continuing resolution keeping government spending at the previous year’s levels.
The continuing resolution is scheduled to expire Mar. 6, and the omnibus spending bill will fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, ending Oct. 1.
Before the omnibus bill was considered on the House floor, the House Republican leadership wrote to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer asking them to consider freezing federal spending at their current levels.
The letter stated that a spending freeze “could ensure that essential government functions are carried out without any cuts while protecting taxpayers from spending increases during a time of economic hardship.”
Instead of freezing the current spending levels, the Democratic leadership added billions of dollars in additional funding to federal programs and agencies.
In fact, this bill will grow government spending at more than double the rate of inflation and almost triple the rate of median growth in household incomes.
Only three of the bills contained in the omnibus were cleared by the full House Appropriations Committee in a public mark-up. None were considered on the House floor.
On the heels of this massive spending spree, the president offered a budget blueprint that will increase the national debt by $3 trillion over five years.
The budget will raise taxes on almost all Americans – small businesses, family farms, middle class families, retirees, 401(k) owners and energy consumers.
When Herbert Hoover raised taxes during a recession, it led to record unemployment and the worst depression in history.
Friends, now is the time for a responsible budget. It is time we in Washington start making the same sacrifices American families have already been making with their own budgets.
Jo Bonner is a member of the house of representatives.