and suppose you're thinking that your Congress critters are wisely legislating in Washington, D.C. so as to spend your money constitutionally and wisely......... OK, just play along with me so I can show you how foolish you are if you were actually nodding yes to the statements above.
As recently as June 22, 2008, a bill called the "Advancing America's Priorities Act" was introduced in the Senate as S.3297. That bill should have been named the "Advancing America's Special Interests' Agendas and Other Pork Barrel Spending Act"!
What this bill was designed to do was pick up the heap of special interests' requests for money and a few other interesting pieces and put them all into a single omnibus style bill. A bill to be voted on in one piece -- up or down.
OK, let's take a look at the individual parts which make up the sum total of this bill.
- ALS Registry Act
- Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 2008
- Beach Protection Act of 2008
- Broadband Data Improvement Act
- Captive Primate Safety Act
- Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network Continuing Authorization Act
- Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act
- Drug Endangered Children Act of 2007
- Effective Child Pornography Prosecution Act of 2007
- Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007
- Enhancing the Effective Prosecution of Child Pornography Act of 2007
- Federal Ocean Acidification Research And Monitoring Act of 2008
- FOARAM Act
- Hydrographic Services Improvement Act Amendments of 2008
- Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2008
- Melanie Blocker Stokes Mom's Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Postpartum Depression Act
- Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act
- Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act of 2008
- National Capital Transportation Amendments Act of 2008
- National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2008
- NOAA Undersea Research Program Act of 2008
- Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act
- Overseas Private Investment Corporation Reauthorization Act of 2008
- Predisaster Hazard Mitigation Act of 2008
- Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act
- Preservation of Records of Servitude, Emancipation, and Post-Civil War Reconstruction Act
- PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008
- Providing Resources, Officers, and Technology To Eradicate Cyber Threats to Our Children Act of 2008
- Reconnecting Homeless Youth Act of 2008
- Reconstruction and Stabilization Civilian Management Act of 2008
- Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act of 2008
- Star-Spangled Banner and War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Act
- Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act
- Support for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews Act of 2008
- Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act of 2008
- Training for Realtime Writers Act of 2007
- Tropical Forest and Coral Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2008
- Vision Care for Kids Act of 2008
Wooooooooooooooo! Are you kidding me?! My hands are cramped up after all that typing!
Is it any wonder why our "elected" officials are under grave pressure to best serve their reelection coffers -ur - I mean their constituents? Well, to the reasonable thinkers, the Senate got one right! On July 28, 2008, the bill failed on Cloture to a Motion to Proceed. That means that this bill is in all likelihood dead in the water. But we must remain vigilant, keeping an eye on the things that Congress does or doesn't do on our behalf, lest this one resurface later.
One group is working hard to get three bills introduced in Congress which would stop the insanity spending bunched together in bills such as in the example above. That group is Downsize DC.
They have drafted three important bills which would do more to clean out the legislative pig trough than any other methods, save for a repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment perhaps.
Those important bills are:
- (1) "One Subject at a Time Act" (OSTA) limiting all bills to a single subject or issue,
- (2) the "Write The Laws Act" (WTLA), charging our elected officials with the responsibility to actually write the bills and not turn them over to their aides and
- (3) the "Read The Bills Act" (RTBA), charging our elected officials with the task of reading the bills cover to cover so they know precisely what is in them. I encourage you to join in their efforts; they make it really easy to participate in their various campaigns.
Look, I like most people, don't have a problem helping people who truly need it. It's in our nature. But I have always failed to see how it's OK for the government to decide what charities I will support or don't support depending on how they divvy the money up. We ought to have the right and option to choose where our money goes for charity. Of course, we should have a right to keep all that we earn too! But that's a discussion for another time.