As most of Washington has begun to see the need to have some serious conversations about how we might make do with less spending, it probably comes as no surprise that for many members of Congress it is little more than just talk.
While some congressional leaders prepare to do battle with the bureaucracy and the White House over cuts to cherished programs, others, (including some Republicans), are trying to force the administration to spend billions more than it has already requested.
Congress is trying to force feed the Pentagon additional hardware that both the Bush and Obama administrations agreed would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. Specifically, they want to force the military to buy an alternate engine for the forthcoming F-35 Lightning fighter jet.
Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with there being any problems with the engine that the Pentagon selected for the F-35 to begin with. It works just fine and the brass is quite happy with it. And it is not that the Pentagon usually makes a habit of buying two engines from two different manufacturers for all of their planes. They don’t. The problem is that General Electric didn’t win the contract to supply engines for the F-35. Pratt & Wittney did. So GE did what most big companies do in such situations, they lobbied Congress. The result: members of Congress are trying to come to the rescue with a little corporate welfare.
But the fact is that corporate welfare is just as wasteful and insidious as the other varieties. In this case, it subsidizes failure. And given that our national budgets are running trillions of dollars in red ink, it is a subsidy we cannot afford. read more »
In 1997, a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would require Congress to balance the budget received sixty-six votes – falling just one vote short of the required two-thirds majority it needed to pass and be sent on to the states for ratification.
That was the last time Congress considered a balanced budget amendment. The national debt at that time was over five and a half trillion dollars. Today it is over fourteen trillion. Coincidence?
Year after year Congress borrows more money and spends all that it borrows; and year after year they vote to increase our national debt limit. It’s like being able to increase your credit limit after you’ve maxed out your credit cards.
Soon the government will reach its current legal debt limit of 14.3 trillion dollars, and the only way that it can continue to borrow is if Congress raises that limit. That means that Obama needs Republican support for the idea. And that means that Republicans have leverage. The question is, will they use it? And will they use it for a long term solution, or just some cosmetic cuts (or reductions in the rate of growth)?
Republicans should welcome the opportunity to put the issue of fiscal responsibility squarely on Obama and the Democrats by linking any debt limit increase to passage of a balanced budget amendment.
With a new conservative majority in the House of Representatives, and several more real conservatives in the Senate, not to mention a greater public sense of our fiscal reality, we have the best chance to push a balanced budget amendment that we have had in years. When you add the fact that many vulnerable Senate Democrats are up for reelection in 2012, now is the time. read more »
A number of leftist Democrats either boycotted the reading of the Constitution in the House of Representatives or denigrated the ceremony.
These representatives should either resign or be removed from office.
For if they think that the very thing that authorizes them to hold office and wield authority is irrelevant, shameful or outdated propaganda, they certainly shouldn't be granted a hefty salary under a system that they have exhibited so much contempt for that they can't even grant the respect to to hear read aloud.
Americans would be shocked and outraged to learn of an athlete thinking themselves too good to be bothered with learning the basic rules of the game.
Then shouldn't we be even more so when it comes to those that actually assume that they have more of a right to run and order our lives than we do?
by Frederick Meekins