The Era of Big Government, Continued

Yes, it was on hiatus for a bit in the 1990s, but it’s back with a vengance. First, the energy bill. Now the Republicans are using the same pork belly tactics on all of their bills (DeLay to recalcitrant Republican Congressperson: “how many millions of taxpayer money would it take to get your vote?”):

As Congress rushes to conclude its 2003 session, Republican leaders are trying to garner votes for controversial legislation by loading the bills with billions of dollars in added costs that analysts said would expand the budget deficit for years to come. The year-end binge has alarmed analysts in Washington and on Wall Street, coming as it does after three years of presidential and congressional initiatives that have both substantially boosted government spending and shrunk its tax base.

“The U.S. budget is out of control,” the Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs & Co. warned Friday in its weekly newsletter to clients.

As the post story recounts, massive amounts of pork are flowing into bills covering Energy, Medicare, Veterans Affairs, Forest-thinning projects, funding for Iraq, and I’m sure everywhere else.

I’ll have to second Warren Rudman’s take, which is tantamount to my earlier take, “It’s your children’s money. Quick! Take it!”:

“The only thing I can tell you is evidently the word ‘tomorrow’ no longer exists in the vocabulary of otherwise responsible members of Congress,” said Warren Rudman, a former New Hampshire Republican senator and long-standing budget hawk. “They are acting as if there is no tomorrow.”


“It is puzzling, unless you take the most cynical political view of ‘I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do, and whatever bad that’s going to happen is not going to happen on my watch,’ ” he said, trying to explain lawmakers’ motivations. “If that is what’s happening, we are facing the Titanic of fiscal crises in eight to 10 years.”

There’s a lot more in the full story — all disgusting. Democrats aren’t blameless in this (witness Daschle’s selling out for ethanol subsidies), but as the party in control of the House, Senate, and White House, this spending is certified 94% Republican (96% if you count Zell Miller as a Republican).