Spending America’s Future into Oblivion

March 10th, 2009 Billy Hallowell

Ideological Barriers to Change

As Americans cope with immense fiscal challenges, Congressional spending continues to spiral out of control. Living out Rahm Emanuel’s tweaked philosophy of never allowing “a serious crisis to go to waste,” Democrats are spending at an enigmatic rate – and some Republicans are following suite.

According to The Wall Street Journal, back in Nov. 2008 Emanuel told a group of corporate chief executives the following:“Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”

These are not the words of a fiscally-conscious lawmaker. “Things” that could not be done before – like what? And if “things” could not be afforded before, how would the nation, in the midst of a financial melt-down, suddenly have the resources to finance said “things?”

Clearly, Emanuel is speaking about ideological policy here, not systematic reform. This is not the time to sacrifice the future by printing money for the purposes of furthering the Democratic perspective. The most recent bailout and the subsequent spending bill that has already cleared the Senate are so poorly comprised and so detrimental that they can only result from such an ill-focused outlook.

And perhaps most preposterous was Emanuel’s assertion that the current climate will foster the hopenchange, bi-partisan rhetoric that Obama thrived on during the campaign: “The good news, I suppose, if you want to see a silver lining, is that the problems are big enough that they lend themselves to ideas from both parties for the solution.”

Good news? Silver lining? Despite such talk of bipartisanship, Washington is more divided than its been in decades, as the most recent stimulus had not one of the House’s 178 members voting in its favor. As Republicans and a small group of Democrats rally to control spending and vote down abuses, their colleagues have chosen to continue wasting tax-payer dollars, while abusing the powers that have been bestowed upon them by the American people.

Recent Fiscal Abuses

While most Americans are facing unemployment prospects and struggling to meet their most basic needs, out-of-touch Congressional members have slipped thousands of irrelevant pet projects into the latest spending bill that President Obama promises to sign.

Back in Sep. 2008, Obama said, “…when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely” – a promise he has already broken. One cannot help but wonder what happened to Obama’s campaign pledge to take “a scalpel” to bills that contain pork-barrel spending. Instead, massive spending and fiscal deviance have dominated.

At this rate, it’s becoming difficult to follow just how much money Congress has spent. First, there was the stimulus passed by Bush and the Democratic Congress at the end of 2008 (over $700 billion). Then came Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package – cleverly entitled “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” Now, Congress is slated to pass a $410 billion omnibus spending bill. The bill, intended to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, is wrought with pork.

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, it contains 8,570 earmarks, totaling $7.7 billion. A mere glimpse at the projects that have been inserted showcases a lack of Congressional responsibility and moral fabric. In this case, both parties are to blame. While Democrats have been leading the charge to irresponsible spending, Republicans who have earmarks in the bill are jumping on board in hopes that their projects will be funded.

The irresponsibility is paramount. At a time when Americans are hurting, Rep. Jerrold Nadler has earmarked $381,000 for Jazz at Lincoln Center, with Sen. Lindsay Graham is attempting to filter $950,000 to the Myrtle Beach International Trade and Convention Center. Additionally, $800,000 was earmarked for the purposes of “oyster rehabilitation” – whatever that means. And these are only a few examples (remember, there are nearly 9,000 to choose from). Clearly, these pork-laced projects have little to do with helping the American government meet its operating costs and everything to do with unpatriotic, self-interest.

Now, more than ever, America’s lawmakers need to cut unnecessary costs. As President Obama asks Americans to use less electricity, to trust his administration and to have faith in the system, he must also ask Congress – and his inner conscious – to make similar concessions. Our nation is deep in debt and the longer the people stand idle, the more tattered the country’s future will be. Now is the time for rhetoric-free, action-based fiscal conservation.

For more information about Billy Hallowell, go to www.williamhallowell.com.  For booking information about Billy and other speakers and programs, go to www.pathufindmedia.com. 

Technorati Tags: Fiscal Irresponsibility,President Obama,Congress,Omnibus,Spending bill,Stimulus,Federal Debt,Deficit

Rating: 2.9/5 (34 votes cast)

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  • Dora
    Last night on Fox News, former top Bush adviser Karl Rove chastised President Obama for his economic recovery package Congress passed last February and criticized him for his new proposal to enact “pay as you go” budgeting rules — paying for spending increases by either raising taxes or budget cuts.
    “This is a cosmetic gesture. This guy is going to run up a $1.8 trillion deficit. That’s what it’s projected to be this year,” Rove complained. But when host Greta Van Susteren asked if the Bush administration is responsible for any of the deficit, Rove replied, “No.”:

    VAN SUSTEREN: Do you take some responsibility, meaning you, the Bush eight years, for this…
    ROVE: No.
    VAN SUSTEREN: You take absolutely no responsibility? Because…
    ROVE: No.
    Rove’s denial is odd, not only because the Bush administration turned President Clinton’s budget surplus into massive deficits and left with nearly half a trillion dollars in the hole, but also because Bush presided over the largest debt increase of any U.S. president in history. But the timing of Rove’s denial is odd as well because the New York Times published yesterday the results of an examination of Congressional Budget Office reports going back almost a decade which found that Obama “is responsible for only a sliver of the deficits” and most of his adminstration’s contribution to the deficit is a result of continuing Bush policies:
    About 33 percent of the swing stems from new legislation signed by Mr. Bush. That legislation, like his tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, not only continue to cost the government but have also increased interest payments on the national debt.
    Mr. Obama’s main contribution to the deficit is his extension of several Bush policies, like the Iraq war and tax cuts for households making less than $250,000. Such policies — together with the Wall Street bailout, which was signed by Mr. Bush and supported by Mr. Obama — account for 20 percent of the swing.

  • Brian

    For further insight into unchecked federal spending, listen to G. Gordon Liddy interview Rep. Paul Ryan at that link. Wise stuff Ryan says.
  • bambi eats grass
    hey, I have been to oblivion- 
    that was some good shit!
  • Titus Hunt
    I read Theory #1 and realized it was stupid and untrue so I didn't continue!  Hopefully, liberals will wake up one of these days and quit spreading lies.  It is unbecoming!
  • Roger Hammer
    It's not your fault, you can get past this, there is hope for everyone.  This may help you to understand your plight...   http://www.armchairculture.com/soap-box/rantsop...
  • Titus Hunt
    Yeah, don't hold your breath on me wanting to pay more taxes.  that is not helping at all and a ridiculous statement unless  you are a democrat!
  • Gary
    Just dropped in to see if you folks were still around.  I was afraid you might have disappeared like a deleted computer file.  Good to find you live and well.  As soon as Average Joe has found a job and can start paying his mortgage, we are going to need all of you to sacrifice for the future of our country.  No, we probably won't need you to fight and die in a distant land.  We need you to pay more taxes to reduce the Debt and to fight inflation.
  • Dora
    Glenn Beck... another good joke.
  • davidwwalters
    len Beck.......
    an embarrassment?  He ought not be.   Those on the right aren't interested with facts so much as they are attempting to propagandize those who they depend upon.  Glen serves a useful purpose.  Now Michael Bachman.....?  That is an embarrassment to all Americans
  • harrysmom
    Oh, and quit yer whining about the budget.  You created this problem, and now you have to take the medicine along with the rest of us.  I'm not going to debate it.  I'm soooo bored with the rhetoric.  If you you can't see how it's a bittersweet necessity, then your head is up your ass.  

    Hi David Walters and the rest of the libs!
  • harrysmom
    Just a question...are any of you embarrassed by Glen Beck?
  • Karl Yundt
    Why does Ford seem to hate America?

    Ford Spokesman Mark Schirmer(http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/25/ford-response/):
    "I agree with you about the rantings of the hopelessly pig-headed Mr. O’Reilly, recognize that I am just an innocent bystander in this email letter silliness. I work at Ford and support Ford, but have no idea how the decisions are made on where we advertise. Frankly, as a mainstream company, we advertise everywhere there are good ratings. That is not an endorsement of the show — that is recognition that people are watching the show. Don’t know why they watch that mindless ranting. But they watch in droves. Welcome to America, I guess."
    Email Ford Global Public Relations Director Jon Pepper ([email protected]) and tell him that, as a mindless rube, you are too stupid to purchase a Ford vehicle in the future. Then, sign the petition:
  • davidwwalters72
    Titus.....Ouch...i sincerely hope you get well soon ;)

    then you should know obama is taking away from the American people instead of giving to us the rights we are supposed to have.>>
    guess that could be said of any(every?)Cmd.-in-Chief since Eisenhower maybe....

    (O)bama is in bed with the unions and other organizations so you really can't say he is there for the people......>>
    -Fair enough......it's always a matter of degrees with presidents.  The Bush family was in bed with maybe, "Big Oil"!
    You'd know i am partial to unions.  I was fired only once in my life, and that was for passing out Union literature in the parking lot of a textile mill    i was employed at once, more than 35 yrs ago.....i guess i have more affinity with these guys(unions) than say,              -i dunno......a soulless financial trader?    

    and no, i don't agree that it was all corp greed>>
    -i'm sure you aren't soulless. 
    -And this is ALL about regulation.  The incentive for greed is exponential with the amount of money at stake.....(with financial traders, remember, it is mainly other peoples money-so why not, huh?)
  • Titus Hunt
    David--if you believe in what you said above, then you should know obama is taking away from the American people instead of giving to us the rights we are supposed to have.  obama is in bed with the unions and other organizations so you really can't say he is there for the people.  and no, i don't agree that it was all corp greed.  the actions of the citizens themselves have also caused this problem.  they include every adult in the US.  I probably won't be posting much for a few more days because I just had surgery and it was more intensive that the surgeon originally thought.  I'm in a lot of pain.  so for once democrats aren't my only pain!  LOL!
  • davidwwalters72
    Billy Hallowell writes............
    <<.....“Things” that could not be done before – like what? And if “things” could not be afforded before, how would the nation, in the midst of a financial melt-down, suddenly have the resources to finance said “things?”>>
    Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”-Rahm Emanuel
    -For close to 30 years the conservative ideals of Deregulation , Tax Breaks for the Captains of Industry&Wall Street, and the growth of a Police State has slowly rooted, grown, and blossomed.  2009 is the culmination of this failed experiment.

    nd Jackie(Titus?) asks....<<so who voted for this SOB?>>
    People who believe The Constitution grants its Rights and Liberties to individual citizens, not corporate entities.  People voted for this SOB because they understand it was these Captains of Industry&Wall Street that has run our once great nation into the ground.

    Yes Billy, there is a lot of damage to be undone......the unemployed must have jobs due to the failings of  capitalist error and greed.

  • JackieM
    I also realize that you don't read very well because this information came from sources that you don't have along with the news from difference places and my previous posts.
  • JackieM
    Dora--i definitely think for myself.  It also must pain you to think that he is right!  I would suggest that you start thinking for yourself instead of throwing stones at me.  It wouldn't hurt for you to look at obama for what he really is for a change.  However, I'm sure that is not possible for you though!
  • Dora
    once again, jackie - without a fact portfolio- opts to repeat hannity's impressions -  i remind you, jackie,  that conservative talking head programs are not beamed exclusively to conservative homes-  i heard him yesterday, jackie- today i see you repeating his divisive remarks. 
    do you EVER think for yourself?
  • JackieM
    In listening to several news media outlet today, such as CNN, MSNBC and FOX, I am quite puzzled to hear that obama and his supporters are outraged by the bonuses paid by AIG.  why?  obama took control of the second half of the TARP and gave AIG another loan without stipulations.  i guess when government makes mistakes the first time, obama will ensure it continues to happen.  now I said I was not for any bailout money of any kind from the beginning and was especially against the TARP without any oversite.  now i'm a free market person but understand that we now own 80% of AIG and still have some of the same folks in the company that caused it to fail.  I predicted that we would see huge negative consequences if there were not major restrictions on this money.  I also said that a group made up of financial professionals and successful business folks not affiliated with these fat cats from outside Washington should oversee the money spent.  low and behold what happened?  now obama is screaming how horrible this is?  what?  his theatrics really makes me laugh!  he has to be acting because his only other excuse for the TARP he voted for would be stupidity!  Of course, his buddy geithner, who doesn't have a staff and can't seem to pay his own taxes, is as guilty as he is.  two people -- two wastes for human beings!  ...and some American people love 'em! keep in mind that some of the republicans wanted more oversight but the democrats just shoved the idea under the carpet.  hmmmm!  what leadership we now have -- not!
  • JackieM
    the polls are showing that obama's ratings are decreasing!  wow!  what a big surprise!  i'm just amazed at how slow people are.  that is the "dumbing down syndrome" again!  i has definitely spread to the masses!  is there a cure for this yet?  obama needs to use taxpayer dollars to research this!
  • JackieM
    see below for the article.  if obama's supporters can read and comprehend anything, it may do them some good to finally see obama for what he really is.  however, if obama still has support after this, i will know that his supporters are UNAMERICAN and want to see this country destroyed! 

  • JackieM
    according to an article on MSNBC (you know--the liberal news media outlet), obama is now considering taxing health benefits for employees.  his campaign rhetoric said otherwise.  now let's put 2 and 2 together.  he is going to tax energy, which will raise the taxes for everyone including the middle class that he claims to want to help.  now he may tax health benefits.  this will definitely hurt the middle class.  so what is obama doing exactly to help the middle class?  is there any more that needs to be said about this lying snake?  what is it going to take for his supporters to finally get it?  how dumb has America become?  who in the hell is going to support him now?  i could say more but i would need to cuss and call his supporters names that are definitely fitting, so i will refrain!
  • Titus Hunt
    so who voted for this SOB?
  • Franklins Locke
    Obama won’t cut the spending. He thinks this suicidal spending will work. When it doesn’t, they will try to spend more and think that will work. This is their irrational economic policy.
    What is scary is the long term affects of this spending that no one mentions now. With all this debt and fiat money flooding the system, it is going to destroy your financial system. This is why the stock market is crashing. Investors see what is coming and they are protecting what they have left. If taxes won’t take it, when this thing unravels, they are going to need to ride out the coming economic apocalypse.
  • A-Rod
    Everybody needs to watch the movie "idiocracy" It is a comedy by the creator of king of the hill. The movie takes place in 2505 and shows us just what our country might look like if these policys of out of control spending and rewarding bad behavior continue.
      If you are not sadened, scared and angry at what is happeneing to our grandparents beloved nation you are not paying attention. I am often brought close to tears when I hear what this president is doing. We need to mobolize, We need a 10 million conservative march, We need to shackle ourselves to the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The federal government has become tyranical and we must do something. What will you do?
  • ML Smith
    Unbelievable! This is a great opportunity to spend? I am not the least bit surprised - we knew a long time ago that Obama was a fraud and so naturally his administration reflects his complete ignorance.

    Remember when we all questionned his lack of a plan - before the election? Well, now we have it - it is called Fiscal Suicide. The Obamatitanic is going down and his Humpty Dumpty brand of economic insanity, all the Kings horses and all the King's men...won't be able to put this one together again.
    The next announcement will be America Spends its Way to Oblivion. Obama's lunacy has passed the point of no return - GET READY.
  • MAS1916
    We'll be waiting for President Obama to go through 'line by line' as he promised to rid us of unnecessary spending.   He should start by curtailing Pelosi's use of the G-5 military jet that she uses for personal transport back to the lunatic fringe in SF. 

    All this will come back to haunt him though.  The incredible level of debt will surely fire up inflation just in time for 2010.  It will take a lot of time to reverse some of these spending initiatives though, so hopefully the country can learn sooner rather than later that one can't spend one's way out of an economic downturn.  That only makes things worse.
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