Tool of the Week: The endless spenders

Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 19, 2022

MADISON — Perhaps U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said it best last week. As congress rushed to come to terms on a bloated omnibus government spending bill, the Kentucky Republican said nothing brings Democrats and big-spending Republicans together like burning through the people’s money.

“Merry Christmas, Americans. Democrats and big government Republicans will be offering you a Christmas tree. A Christmas tree in Washington is a bill that has something on it for everyone,” Paul said at a press conference with U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah.)“You won’t know what it is until you get it. You won’t be able to read it until it’s done. But it will happen because the one thing that invariably happens in Washington is that they will get together to spend money.”

So much rancor in congress, but lawmakers can put all of that division aside to pile on an anticipated $1.7 trillion on another overdue federal spending bill.

It’s a Christmas miracle.

Paul, Johnson and Lee joined a small chorus of fiscal hawks calling on congress to push off a vote on a package until after the holidays. That is, after Republicans take control of the House.

“Pass a CR (continuing resolution) that gets us into next year. Not only to give a Republican House an opportunity to respond to the people that put them in place, but also to give us time to start understanding what these numbers actually mean,” Johnson implored.

But the brokers of bigger government spending — on the left and the right — would only allow until Dec. 23 to get a deal done. That’s by design. Most members of congress will want to check out for the holidays. And there’s always the threat of a government shutdown and the accompanying bad PR that comes with it. The wheelers and dealers know this. They’ve got their weak-kneed hostages right where they want them. 

Lee calls it extortion.

“If congress wants to pass an omnibus, it’s not likely to get my vote. But we should at least allow our colleagues to do so with clear heads and not through this extortive threat.”

But the truth of the matters is, plenty of lawmakers are just fine with the budgetary game of chicken. It always means more money, which means more money to their districts for playing the game.

Taxpayer cash. It’s the gift that keeps on giving for a congress that’s been on a spending bender for far too long.

These big spenders, collectively, are Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.

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One response to “Tool of the Week: The endless spenders”

  1. Jack Sholder Avatar
    Jack Sholder

    I know what’s wrong with America. Politics is a game of chicken, meant to be played by chickens only. When humans try to do it, everybody loses, including the voters. Chickens can play it because they see everything. I think it’s because — unlike people — they do not wear the blinders of time. People aren’t reliable witnesses. They’re stalked by the specters of history and they slip in and out of a future that does not yet exist. Chickens are neurologically equipped to perceive reality. They know how to resolve conflicts and get things done. If one of them does act the fool, they say he’s “running around like a human with his head still on.”

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