The Democratic majority’s line of logic appears to work something like this:
If taxpayers can afford to spend $700 billion to bailout out the battered financial markets, then they can surely afford to spend $25 billion to bailout the auto industry, $61 billion on bogus “emergencies,” $24 billion for disaster aid, and $16 billion on 2,627 more earmarks.
Let’s take a look at how this suspect logic might apply to a personal budget:
John Doe makes $1000 a month. If John can afford $600 for rent and $300 for food, then surely John can also afford a measly $200 for a new stereo, $75 for an IPod shuffle and $50 for a night out with friends.
This logic is clearly flawed, and our friend John is now $225 in debt. This is exactly the policy Congress is currently pursuing. Congressional leadership should remember we live in a world of trade-offs. It is precisely because we are spending so much on other priorities that we can not spend lavishly on other projects. At some point the bill will come due.
This week alone, Congress has considered numerous pieces of legislation at the cost of tens of billions dollars. A quick review of the enormous spending bills being rushed through Congress under this faulty logic is unnerving.
• The Continuing Resolution (CR). Included in the CR is $25 billion in loans to bail out the auto industry, and $24 billion is disaster aid. This “loan” is expected to end up costing the federal government over $7 billion, an amount that proponents assert isn’t actually expensive given how much we are spending on other projects. As if this wasn’t enough, the CR also sneaks in $16.1 billion for 2,627 earmarks. This almost doubles last years mark. There is no excuse for this type of reckless spending. Congress needs to take a step back and seriously reconsider this legislation.
• The Second Stimulus Bill. According to the latest reports, this bill will spend over $60 billion dollars funding infrastructure projects, additional Medicaid funding for states, food stamps and various other public projects. As Heritage Foundation research reveals, this spending will do little to stimulate the economy. Fortunately, the Bush Administration issued a veto threat today that may keep the legislation from ever becoming law. Spending an extra $60 billion dollars, likely to add directly to the federal deficit, is the wrong policy at the wrong time.
This week has rapidly turned into a historic spending spree. Congress is spending billions of taxpayer dollars without properly examining the bills, based on the foolish idea that one extraordinary expenditure suddenly makes countless less expensive expenditures affordable. Don’t be fooled by this fuzzy logic.