Thursday, December 16, 2010
Random thoughts from a warped and fevered mind...
After the November mid-term elections, President Obama pledged to eliminate the process of "earmarks" in budgets that were submitted to him. The public overwhelmingly disapproves of earmarks- specific funding to be used in a legislator's district that is not subject to normal budget scrutiny. Earmarks in the budget process allow pork projects to escape the public discourse that should occur every time Washington spends one of our dollars and is a contributing factor to the profligate spending that comes out of Washington. Guess what? In the proposed omnibus spending bill that is under consideration by Congress there are -you guessed it- earmarks. $8 billion of them. BILLION. Apparently the lesson that President Obama said he learned after the November election- that the American public is tired of Washington wasting money and engaging in pork barrel spending- really wasn't learned after all. Old habits die hard, and we as the taxpaying public are going to have to hold Washington accountable if there is ever to be a meaningful change in the way our leaders spend our money.
I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I heard that most people die from natural causes. Now I only eat foods with lots of preservatives.
In my comments above, I mentioned that the $1.2 trillion dollar budget proposal contains $8 billion dollars of earmarks. Money that will be allocated by one of the elected representatives that is, for the most, outside the purview of the normal budget process. This morning (Thursday), during discussion of the budget, Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) added a proposed $48 BILLION earmark, all of which would go to the not-for-profit Quality Day Campus, a child day care center in Kansas City, MO. This day care center is run by Cleaver's close friend Lamar Mickens, who is the President, and his wife , Cynthia Mickens, who is the Vice President. With an earmarked request of $48 billion, one would think that Quality Day Campus must be serving thousands of children in Kansas City and parts beyond. The truth is that Quality Day Campus is a day care operation that is run out of the home of the Mickens. Dear reader, I don't care what your political views are or what party to which you affiliate. This type of attitude and action by an elected representative is unconscionable. If we are going to change the financial fortunes of our nation, people like Representative Cleaver must be removed from office by the voters. That is the only way that the prevailing attitude of those in Washington who view themselves as a ruling elite will ever change.
I wonder if coffins have a lifetime guarantee?
Kay Hagan, Democratic Senator from North Carolina, appeared on CNBC yesterday morning to discuss her opposition to President Obama negotiating an extension of the current levels of taxation for the next two years. Although she voted to increase the national debt by $3.2 trillion over the past two years, she did not believe that it was wise to extend the tax cuts that Congress passed in 2003. She was particularly incensed that President Obama did not raise the estate tax to a higher level. Her premise is that "we are giving that money back to the richest Americans, who do not need it" (paraphrasing very accurately her statement, but not quoting it exactly). This sentiment sums up the crux of the problem the nation faces with our elected leaders and in solving our fiscal crisis. Washington views your money as theirs, and our elected leaders are doing us a favor by letting us keep some of our income. This is so illogical as to be absurd, but tragically, it is the mindset of most in Washington. Spending will never get reined in and brought back to normal levels if this mindset does not change. As voters and taxpayers, it will be up to us to enforce the fiscal discipline that Washington so sorely lacks.
When I was a child, I had "lazy eye". As an adult, it has spread to the rest of my body.
And that, my friends, is my view.