However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796
Over the last two weeks, I’ve heard Limbaugh and Hannity pimp the website www.dirtyrottensecrets.com as the place to find all the fiscal mess that government doesn’t want you to know. Problem with the site; it’s highly partisan, all but blaming Liberal Democrats on every page.
Who’da thunk it? A couple of Con-Opinionators promoting a Conservative partisan website that tags all fiscal ills on the Democrats. Um, I’m pretty sure there are a few years as of late to blame reckless spending on Republicans as well.
One example, Hannity likes to claim that www.dirtyrottensecrets.com will tell you of the obscene amount of limousines used by our government, but will forget to tell you that the fleet has been reduced over the past 3 years and the majority of the new ones are replacements for the old.
Just as many Con-Opinionators like to cry foul about the Presidential Limo, better known as the Beast in the Media circles, yet forget that it was commissioned under President Bush at the end of his term.
For the information that www.dirtyrottensecrets.com leaves out, basically anything that has to do with the Right side of the political aisle, may I direct you to www.cagw.org, Citizens Against Government Waste.
CAGW puts everyone in the blender, no matter who they are, for good or bad. Now that’s how reporting should be, straight down the middle and no partisanship. And they are not just attacking Federal dollars, they watch over State governments as well.
You may have heard of CAGW, best known for their “pig book” releases after every Government Fiscal Report is released. The “pig book” basically lists all the wasteful spending by our elected Congressional figures, even those that say they are against “pork $” yet have something with their name attached to it.
They also release “porker of the month” awards for those in Congress that are the most wasteful in trying to scam taxpayer dollars for irrelevant issues. The award has been given out evenly amongst the political parties and even to a few Department Secretaries like HHS’s Kathleen Sebalius.
June’s award winner: (R-Cal) Howard McKeon, House Armed Services Committee Chairman, for sliding in a $1 billion slush fund into the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.
Trust me, the site is definitely not partisan, after all they support Louisiana’s Republican Gov Jindal in his decision to veto HB 591, which once vetoed will allow the state’s temporary tobacco tax expire this time next year.
Outside of the “pig book” and “porker” awards, CAGW.com also gives out other awards, such as:
1. “Jekyll and Hyde” award given in 2010 to Rep Leonard Lance (R-NJ) for first signing a no-earmark pledge, then taking $21 million in earmarks only to turn around to support the Republican earmark moratorium. So basically I’ll support it after I get my goods.
2. A nameless award went to Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam); yes Guam is represented in our Congress, for receiving $500K for Brown Tree Snake control.
All this talk of deficit reduction is great theatre, but how much of it will really happen? I say about 35% of it, because Congress is greedy. Not to mention, there’s no talk of “if/then” scenarios such as another war somewhere or natural disaster such as Katrina, we need to shore up funding for these as well.
One of the biggest wastes of federal money was the knee jerk reaction to 9/11 with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. And apparently many of the “has been never will’s” running for the Republican Presidential candidacy believe so as well, but wouldn’t go as far as saying so in the New Hampshire debates.
A simple reform of those departments and higher authority would’ve addressed those issues. A possible creation of a smaller intelligence team that would answer only to the President would’ve been a smarter move. But instead, government grew larger with employees and facilities.
The “has been never will” candidates are talking backwards and skipping over their own spending issues while in office;
1. Pawlenty left Minnesota with a $6 billion deficit
2. Ron Paul is famous for letting people add “pork dollars” into legislation only vote against the legislation to tell people he is fiscal
3. Santorum has stated in October 2010 that he wasn’t a fiscal conservative and feels responsible for letting the deficit rise
4. Bachmann may be against one form of “pork $” but wants to keep phone and written holds on that cash.
Please don’t cry “Tea Party!” either, for many of those Congressional freshmen that were supported or campaigned as Tea Party have filled the latest Defense Appropriation bill with “pork $” for their districts.
Currently, there is a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution sitting on the desk of Speaker Boehner to introduce into the deficit talks. But Boehner won’t budge or let it go to the floor for a vote, even after it passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 20-12!
As I said back in January, let’s see what happens when the Republican Rhetoric of October 2010 meets Reality of Congress 2011. So far Rhetoric is 3 laps ahead on the speedway!