When is the ridiculous spending going to stop?

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How many times have you heard or used the word “ridiculous”? Some of the most ridiculous statements are made by politicians trying to explain their reasons for voting on a bill. Rather than make an absurd statement, why don’t they just say they are voting for a bill because they want your votes?

One of the most ridiculous statements said in Congress was by U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash. He said that one of the best forms of economic stimulus was the unemployment dollar. They are trying to extend the benefits for up to two years and he said that every $1 of unemployment benefits paid returns at $1.64 of economic benefits. If that is the case, let’s lay off everybody. That will make for a terrific economy with no one working. What he didn’t say was that the federal government will have to borrow another $47 billion to pay for this bill. I ask the question, “Who is going to pay this benefit?” Of course, it’s going to be the working fool who gets up each morning and goes to work to provide for his family.

Another ridiculous statement was that in the Obama health care bill, it said that they are going to take $470 billion from the Medicare trust fund to help pay for the provisions in the bill. They are not going to reduce benefits and it will in fact, make Medicare more financially sound. With Medicare already over $50 trillion under-funded, how in the world will taking $470 billion from Medicare make it more sound?

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Yes, there is an answer to my question. Another bill has been introduced to help pay doctors who treat Medicare patients. That bill comes to $65 billion and, of course, the money comes from — yes — borrowing more money, probably from China. Who’s going to pay that back? It must come from the pocket of the U.S. taxpayer. Will his pocket ever be empty?

Oh, and yes, our local House Rep. Robin Brown made the ridiculous statement that our Legislature really did a good job this year. They balanced the budget, but did she tell us how they did it? They kicked the ball to the next session of the Legislature, because they deferred up to $3 billion of payments due this year. Isn’t that like borrowing the money and saying you will try to pay it next year? If they don’t reduce costs or increase revenue, the bill next year will be $6 billion. What this means is that our schools may never see the money promised them. Can we continue with this kind of irresponsible legislation? I will let you answer that question when you go to the ballot box.

When is all their ridiculous spending going to stop? Our federal deficit now exceeds $13 trillion. This is greater than our total gross domestic product, and Congress is trying to pass another $190 billion jobs bill. Of the $190 billion, only $50 billion is going toward programs targeted for job creation. The rest is going to such programs as Medicaid payments, health care for unemployed, payments to minority farmers, welfare payments and the list goes on. Calling it a “jobs creation bill” is ridiculous. It is primarily a welfare bill, and I cannot understand why they try to call it something else.

Is it time for changes in St. Paul and Washington? Only the people who use their constitutional right to vote can bring about that change. Nov. 4 is going to be a very important day for voters. Let’s find out the facts and make intelligent decisions.

Al Arends is co-chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party.