Monday, May 24, 1999
With more tax dollars flowing into Washington than expected this year, we’ve got a great opportunity to get our country’s financial house in order. Yet, career politicians seem intent upon spending the increased revenue as fast as it comes in. Our Congress keeps thinking up new programs.
And it would be easy for Congress to use the war in Kosovo as just one more excuse to break the budget cap. That’s why Representatives Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Mark Sanford of South Carolina introduced an amendment to the appropriation bill funding the war in Kosovo that would require across-the-board domestic spending reductions to offset the amount spent in the war. This kind of fiscal discipline has been sorely absent from past Congresses.
Alas, the careerists in Congress still lack fiscal responsibility. The amendment was voted down better than 3 to 1. John Berthoud of the National Taxpayers Union put it this way: “The House of Representatives voted to pick the pockets of all Americans rather than exercise fiscal restraint . . . this amounts to a declaration of war on taxpayers.”
If the career congressmen can’t or won’t live within a budget when times are good, we sure can’t expect them to pull any rabbits out of their hats in tough times, now can we? Why do representatives like Coburn, Toomey and Sanford care more about fiscal responsibility than their colleagues?
Simple. Each of them has pledged to serve no more than 3 terms in the House, and not make a career in Congress. As citizens rather than politicians, they know that government money doesn’t grow on trees. It comes from you.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.