Fake Emergency Spending by Corrupt Congress
Taxpayers for Common Sense is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending. Here is their latest news update.
"EMERGENCY" SPENDING EATS AT BUDGET SURPLUS The House Appropriations Committee has approved a $9 billion Emergency Supplemental spending bill that would clear the way for more election-year spending and threaten the projected budget surplus.
The bill would move $6.9 billion in spending back into the current year’s budget to pay for Colombian anti-drug military efforts, military operations, and emergency farm [corporate welfare] payments.
Congress last year undermined legally imposed budget caps by using questionable budget tactics including: slowing the rate of payments to Pentagon contractors and shifting the last pay period for the military from fiscal 2000 to fiscal 2001.
1999 was a milestone year because it marked the first on-budget surplus since 1960 -- due largely to a bipartisan pledge to leave the Social Security surplus alone.
In fiscal year 2000, keeping the “hands-off” pledge with regard to Social Security will require constant vigilance to protect the small projected on-budget surplus from fiscally irresponsible raids. Already, Congressional "leaders" have added $3.7 billion to President Clinton’s original supplemental spending request.
Given that "emergency" outlays have skyrocketed over the past two years from $3 billion in FY98 to $18 billion in FY99 to $28 billion (and counting) in FY2000, it’s time to adhere to a strict definition of an emergency.
Legitimate emergencies, such as natural disasters and military conflicts, will arise in fiscal year 2000, and these will require a swift and effective federal response. Based on historical averages, we can expect to spend approximately $8 billion on emergency spending this year.
Surpluses should not alleviate the need to make hard choices among competing spending priorities. If an item is not a true emergency, it should be fully offset with actual spending reductions elsewhere in the budget. Otherwise, more than half of the projected fiscal year 2000 non-Social Security surplus may be spent.
This might not be cause for alarm if it could be said with confidence that there would be no further supplemental spending requests this year. But it would be ludicrous to assume that there will be no floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, or other natural disasters, and no further assistance needed for farmers or spending on military conflicts for the rest of the year.
Some in Congress dislike the use of this year’s surplus as a spending relief valve. We agree with these Members of Congress that whatever surplus develops to be used to pay down the debt.
How Congress deals with the fiscal year 2000 on-budget surplus will give lawmakers a chance to prove their commitment to taxpayers and fiscal responsibility. By not spending this year’s surplus, they will do just that.
For more information, e-mail email@example.com or phone Keith Ashdown at 202-546-8500 ext. 110 ; TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
|Page One||Page Two||Archive|
|Discussion Room||Letters||What's Geoism?|