Remember all the fear of rising deficits that Congress used as an excuse to slash President Bush’s tax relief plan in half this past spring?
Now that lawmakers are busy with the annual rite of approving appropriations bills, the dreaded “d-word” — deficit — has apparently lost favor.
Despite new projections that the deficit could top $450 billion, many members of Congress aren’t nearly as energized about attacking wasteful government spending as they were in denying working and industrious Americans the right to keep more of what they earn.
It's obvious that deficit rhetoric during the tax relief debate was just a ruse by liberals and complicit “moderates” to ensure that Congress could spend more and increase government reliance.
Unfortunately, proven mismanagement is often rewarded in Washington and even deficit-anxious lawmakers eagerly jump in line to funnel money to local pork barrel projects that carry no national significance.
Now, freshman House members, apparently not yet jaded by the spending ritual, want to publicly highlight evidence of wasteful spending within the federal bureaucracy. They have announced the formation of “Washington Waste Watchers: A Working Group to Combat Government Waste, Fraud and Abuse.”
The group pledged to spotlight examples of “egregious waste of taxpayer dollars occurring at all levels of the federal government” once a week from the House floor when the chamber is in session.
Taxpayers can only hope that when these freshmen shine the public light on waste, fraud and abuse, enough members and leaders will listen and act out of outrage. It can’t hurt; the record deficit certainly isn’t motivating leaders to cut government waste.