This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling, $410 billion compilation of nine spending measures that lacks the slightest hint of austerity from the federal government or the recipients of its largess. The Senate should reject this bill. If we do not, President Barack Obama should veto it.
The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year's levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but
Drafted last year, the bill did not pass due to Congress's long-standing budgetary dysfunction and the frustrating delays it yields in our appropriations work. Since then, economic and fiscal circumstances have changed dramatically, which is why the Senate should go back to the drawing board. The economic downturn requires new policies, not more of the same. Our nation's current fiscal imbalance is unprecedented, unsustainable and, if unaddressed, a major threat to our currency and our economic vitality.
The national debt now exceeds $10 trillion. This is almost double what it was just eight years ago, and the debt is growing at a rate of about $1 million a minute.
The solution going forward is to stop wasteful spending before it starts. Families and businesses are tightening their belts to make ends meet -- and
The omnibus debate is not merely a battle over last year's unfinished business, but the first indication of how we will shape our fiscal future. Spending should be held in check before taxes are raised, even on the wealthy. Most people are willing to do their duty by paying taxes, but they want to know that their money is going toward important priorities and won't be wasted.
Last week I was pleased to attend the president's White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit. It's about time we had a leader committed to addressing the deficit, and Mr. Obama deserves great credit for doing so. But what ultimately matters are not meetings or words, but actions. Those who vote for the omnibus this week -- after standing with the president and pledging to slice our deficit in half last week -- jeopardize their credibility.
But the bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning. Voters rightly demanded change in November's election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in
Now is the time to win back the confidence and trust of the American people. Congress should vote "no" on this omnibus and show working families across the country that we are as committed to living within our means as they are.
Mr. Bayh, a Democratic senator from
*Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2009. LINK
Senator Bayh, you wouldn’t have to write these “cover pieces” if you just did the right thing. Instead, you voted for the “Stimulus Package”. We’ll let your actions speak for themselves!
Monday, February 23, 2009 7:10 PM
"Congressman Baron Hill" (removed)
February 23, 2009
Dear Mr. Parker,
Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. I received numerous calls and emails from constituents as Congress debated how to revive the
Our nation is currently in the midst of a severe recession. The
The New Year has not brought a respite to our nation's economic troubles. Every day another company is announcing massive layoffs and more individuals are watching their hard-earned retirement savings deplete. During the last few weeks, Congress considered legislation to help jumpstart our shaky economy. On February 13, 2009, I voted to approve the conference report of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The President signed H.R. 1 into law on February 17, 2009. While my fiscal conservative nature gave me pause at spending so much money, I believe the cost of doing nothing would have been far more devastating to our economy.
Further, I am pleased to report I was successful in getting many of the provisions I believe will not immediately stimulate our economy removed from the package. With the support of my Blue Dog colleagues, we removed provisions that would have: provided a tax break for
Although not perfect, this legislation addresses both our immediate and long-term economic issues. The bill provides significant tax relief for Hoosier families and businesses. The bill would cut taxes for more than 95% of working families in the
In addition, the stimulus package delivers critical support to the State of
I am also pleased that the legislation is directed at those who need it most-hard-working families, not Wall Street or big bank executives. To this end, I helped secure a provision that would provide a homeownership tax credit to first-time homebuyers. H.R. 1 also imposes new compensation limits for executives at financial institutions receiving government funds.
While I believe it is not the time to be ideologically rigid at the expense of Hoosier families, my support of this stimulus package should not serve as an indication of future fiscal measures that will receive my vote. I am now more than ever committed to making sure Congress returns to long-term fiscal reforms, such as statutory pay-as-you-go budgeting (PAYGO).
Thank you again for contacting me about this important legislation. The President has created a website (www.recovery.gov) which will detail how the stimulus funds are spent, and how grants and awards are allocated. If you would like additional information, or have further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at 202.225.5315. If you would like to receive periodic email updates on my Congressional activities, please visit http://baronhill.house.gov.
Congressman Hill, your constituent asked for FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY and that call didn’t seem to influence your vote! How can you claim to be Fiscally Responsible? You voted FOR the bill, A TRILLION dollars of socialism hiding in the sheep’s clothing of a crisis.
You trumpet $8 a week of tax cuts. Look for the economy to skyrocket on that!
Then you brag about the pork in the bill. Is that your idea of fiscal responsibility? PORK, PORK, PORK. Just let us spend our own money; you don’t have to take it to have
Then you say, don’t let this vote represent your position on fiscal responsibility, from now on you'll be good. Oh Yea, I’ll start my diet tomorrow, now where is the 5000 pound box of chocolates? My granddaughter doesn’t have ONE TRILLION DOLLARS to loan you!
Please Congressman Hill’s contact information to let him know how responsible you think he is!
Press Release of Senator Lugar
Lugar Statement on Stimulus Package
Monday, February 9, 2009
U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar made the following statement this evening on the Senate’s consideration of the economic stimulus package:
"I support responsible, targeted action to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, encourage exports, and assist those who have been impacted by the downturn in the economy. While there were several provisions in the stimulus bill before the Senate that I supported, on balance, a heavy package of spending proposals that could not take effect for years does not achieve these goals. Regrettably, the package does make certain that our children will face hundreds of billion dollars of additional debt.
"The stimulus bill considered by the Senate is a sprawling affair, with massive spending for a wide variety of projects, some of which are completely unrelated to the immediate economic challenges before us.
"Further, the bill contains provisions that threaten to undermine the very economic growth it purports to stimulate, placing American businesses and their workers in danger of trade-based retaliations and escalating financial protectionism.
"The U.S. Treasury Department estimates that new net borrowing could increase more than three times from $788 billion in 2008 to as much as $2.5 trillion in 2009. This is more than 10 times greater than the level in 2006 or 2007. This raises serious questions as to whom in what countries around the globe will buy our bonds to cover this debt, especially with hostile trade provisions in place. Already, more than half of our treasury debt obligations are held by foreigners, most significantly by
The Senate voted 61-36 this evening to end debate of the bill and is scheduled to take the final vote on the bill tomorrow. Lugar voted against ending debate.
Bravo Senator Lugar for your support of Americans against socialism.