Newsletter June 4, 2010
Enough is Enough
When is enough, enough?
Our nation reached an unfortunate milestone this week. The national debt rose above $13 trillion dollars, up $1.7 trillion in just one year.
It is ironic we hit this new high in a week that found Congress on recess, given its central role in creating the current spending crisis. True to form, as members of Congress were rushing to leave town last week, the Senate spent its remaining hours ramming through an “emergency” supplemental appropriations bill that will spend an additional $60 billion without a single way to pay for it.
During consideration of this bill, I offered amendments that would have ensured the entire costs of the legislation would be offset with reductions in lower priority spending. Among other things, my amendments would have frozen pay increases and bonuses for civilian federal employees, cut Congress’ own internal budget, and forced agencies to use leftover funds (“unobligated balances”) rather than borrowing the money. My amendments narrowly failed by votes of 45-53 and 47-50.
I was criticized by senate appropriators for the spending cuts I suggested. Yet they did not offer a single alternative. Instead, we got more of what we have come to expect from Washington — excuses.
My question to the big spenders in Washington — “when is enough, enough?” Will it take a collapse like we have seen in Greece to force politicians to make the hard choices?
In November, the ballot box will give us the opportunity to answer these questions. Any politician — Republican or Democrat — who is unable to show what tough choices he would make (or has made already) to end the current spending crisis — must hear from us.
By the most conservative estimates, at least 10 percent of the federal budget, or $350 billion, is lost to waste, fraud, and abuse each year. Ask anyone seeking federal office in your area — or that of your family and friends — one simple question: if elected, what federal programs do you intend to overhaul or eliminate?
In The News
Dr. Coburn Discusses Budget Deficit With “Morning Joe:”
Costs for the F-22 fighter jet have risen by 95 percent. With an original request for 344 fighters estimated to cost $61.9 billion in 2000, estimates have now been revised to $66.7 billion for 156 fewer planes.