Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Congress Steals Your Interest to Give DC a Vote

Wow. Congressman John Campbell catches a great example of how committed the new leadership in Congress is to paying for new spending through gimmicks. In this case, they're covering the $2.5 million it costs to add a new Member of Congress (because we desperately need a bigger Congress) by changing withholding rules so Washington keeps tax money for a longer period of time and - at least theoretically - gains greater interest from it. As Congressman Campbell said on the House floor:

The reason we have this bill and the reason we are having this debate is because the D.C. voting bill, which just passed this House, costs $2.5 million. So in order to have it be neutral, there needs to be $2.5 million found.

Now, what this bill proposes to do is what I would argue is basically a tax gimmick because no one's final tax, no one's ultimate tax pay, will be changed as a result of this bill. What it, in fact, does is change how quickly some people must pay their tax. So they will have to pay it a little earlier. They won't pay any different amount over a year. They will simply pay it a little earlier. But that is what this bill does.

But what was the alternative? Well, normally you would think that if you were interested in fiscal responsibility, if you were interested in keeping budgets balanced over time, that if you are going to spend $2.5 million extra, you would save $2.5 million somewhere else. That is what people at home do. That is what everyday, average American citizens do. If they are going to spend a little more money on something, they spend a little less money on something else.

Let's talk about what you would need to have done. If the Democratic majority had wished to reduce spending, and reduce the growth in spending is all you would actually have to do, but if they had wished to reduce the growth in spending in order to offset this $2.5 million, we are talking about 0.0002 percent. That is the reduction in growth, not even a cut, but the reduction in growth of spending. That is all you would have to do to offset the $2.5 million in this bill. And then we wouldn't even be talking about taxes and tax gimmicks and all that. Point zero zero zero 2 percent.

I ask you, if you can't find 0.0002 percent to reduce growth, not even to reduce entitlement spending, but to reduce growth of entitlement spending, where and when will you ever deal with the entitlement tidal wave that we have coming? By 2037 the entitlements will eat up 100 percent of the Federal budget as we currently know it.

The Democratic Congress has voted to increase taxes by almost $400 billion, and yet they still could not find an honest way to pay for the $2.5 million needed to add another Member of Congress.

Have they really changed the way Washington does business?

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