WATCH YOUR WALLETS! CONGRESS IS BACK Next week, lawmakers will return to hot, humid Washington, DC after a month-long recess and are guaranteed to start offering new revelations about the budgetary pickle our nation is in. The approaching $480 billion budget deficit is not a hopeless cause, but if we are going to balance the budget again, lawmakers will be presented with the serious challenge of reexamining the nation's spending priorities.
Politicians Rob the Taxpayers
Here is a news update from Taxpayers for Common Sense. TCS is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending, corruption and corporate welfare.
Unfortunately, our crystal ball is predicting that lawmakers will continue to spend like drunken sailors. Taxpayers need to hang onto their wallets and keep an eye out for congressional pickpockets in the following places:
Energy Bill - The stopwatch on the energy bill conference begins ticking next week and lawmakers will be talking out of both sides of their mouths while really doing nothing substantive to solve our energy issues. All under the false assertions that this bad legislation will solve our energy crisis or prevent future blackouts, Senator Domenici will begin doling out special tax breaks and subsidies to the nuclear industry.
Unsuspecting taxpayers should also be on the lookout for so-called "clean coal" investment credits, production credits for the coalbed methane industry, royalty exemptions for the oil and gas business, and a myriad of other giveaways subsidizing the energy industry's cost-of-doing-business. None of these will do anything to reduce our dependence on foreign oil or put a stop to consumer energy prices flying through the roof.
Boeing Tanker Lease - Next week, the Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to hear testimony on the $30 billion U.S. Air Force proposal to lease 100 Boeing 767 wide-body aircraft and convert them into tankers. This costly lease proposal has little to do with helping the nation's men and women in uniform, and everything to do with lining Boeing's pockets. According to Senator John McCain, "America's security and fiduciary responsibilities are apparently being subordinated to what's in the best interest of the Boeing Company."
Some lawmakers who are pushing to gain quick approval of the lease have, in recent months, attempted to steer debate away from the plan's purported intent: A bailout for Boeing after it complained of a post 9/11 decline in commercial aircraft orders.
Spending Bills - The pork industry got it right when they came up with the "Time flies when you're having pork" campaign. Budget and spending bills are progressing at a snail's pace and Congress will be hard pressed to get all their work completed by the start of fiscal 2004 on October 1st. The House still has 2 such bills to go; the Senate 9; and all 13 of the spending bills also need to make their way through conference committees. Watchful eyes should be on the lookout for Congress throwing all deficit concerns out the window as they spend billions more than the agreed upon budget.
The next two months will probably reveal the cold hard truth that virtually no one in Congress is ready to make the tough decisions that will guide the nation back on the road to balanced budgets. Before lawmakers cast their votes and President Bush signs the bills into law, we advise them all to recall that the 2004 elections are just around the corner.
For more information, contact Keith Ashdown at (202)-546-8500 ext. 110
or by email at email@example.com
TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
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