What are congressional spenders smoking?

By Krista Kafer krista555@msn.com I first engaged in deficit spending in high school. In between paychecks I borrowed money from my parents to buy cloths, cigarettes, diet coke and other “needs.” In college I combined deficit spending via credit cards with creative accounting measures like check floating. These monthly deficits led to thousands in debt. Paying it back, much like say quitting smoking was far more difficult that I expected when I started. I learned that spending more than one makes to pay for things one doesn’t need leads to hard times in the future.

This kind of behavior is somewhat understandable in a 20 year old. What excuse does Congress have?

The Denver Post reports that the “Emergency Spending Bill” before the U.S. Senate is tipping the scale at $106 billion.

Intended for emergencies like the war on terrorism or Hurricane Katrina relief, the legislation spends billions of our tax dollars on handouts and pork projects.

Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation told reporters: “Emergencies are not true emergencies when you're repairing highway backlogs that go back several years, when Congress is giving large handouts to farmers, despite record farm incomes, and when you're relocating a rail line that was proposed decades ago.” For more of the Heritage-Congress spending smackdown, see this link and this one.

The response by Congress and the President to a critical public has been an amusing do- as-I-say-not-as-I-do. Senator Frist’s rebuke of his chamber’s actions -- “Families must live within their means, and so should Washington. I applaud the Administration’s determination to stick to true emergency spending, and will support a veto, if necessary, to keep federal spending under control” -- is a little hollow when you consider he and his friends wrote the darn thing. The President’s veto threat is equally comical considering he doesn’t do vetoes.

In fairness not everyone in Congress is a public-posturing big deficit spender. The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of House conservative, has proposed a responsible budget. You gotta wonder, though, if any of the RSC members have squirreled away any pork in this latest bill.

It kind of reminds me of all those times I begged Dad for a loan for groceries or gas and spend most of it on cigarettes, candy, diet coke, and beer. I admit it. I used my Visa to buy cds and cloths, and more cigarettes. I admit it. I was 20 years old. The debt caught up with me and I had to pay it. Who’s going to pay back the over $8 trillion that Congress has racked up with yearly deficits to pay for the country’s “needs"? I borrowed money for cigarettes. What are they smoking?