Thursday, March 5, 2009
Omnibus Bill Proving Ominous
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
With Congress prepared to throw another 410 billion of our taxpayer dollars out the window on superfluous projects many of which had previously been rejected at the state level, a few Democrats are finally waking up to smell the Arabica beans.
Moderate Senator Evan Bayh (IN) and reliable liberal senators Russ Feingold (WI) and Robert Menendez (NJ) announced they would not vote for this pork-laden omnibus bill. This after Senator John McCain (R-AZ) took to the Senate floor to decry the multitude of nonsense plaguing the bill that will continue to drive the stock market further and further into oblivion. This is where McCain demonstrates he still has an ounce of conservatism left in him, as he and conservatives lay blame where it belongs – on all members of both parties who took part in this spending orgy – and, yes, that includes the 40 percent of the pork brought to us by GOP members.
McCain cited the following examples as some of the nuggets found in the omnibus bill: $1.7 million for pig odor research in Iowa, $6.6 million for termite research in New Orleans, $2.1 million for the Center for Great Genetics in New York, $1.7 million for a honeybee factory in Weslaco, TX, $333,333 for a school sidewalk in Franklin, TX, $143,000 for an on-line encyclopedia in NV, $951,000 for a sustainable Las Vegas – whatever the hell that means, and $207,000 for a tattoo removal program in Los Angeles – wasn’t Fantasy Island cancelled years ago? And on it goes to the tune of roughly 9,000 earmarks.
Bayh said this is business as usual and that the increases are counter-productive. Not just counter-productive, but in many cases previously rejected on the state level. Case in point,
voters rejected a transportation system from Nevada to Las Vegas , which is now part of this omnibus bill to be paid for by all Americans, not just Nevadans, thanks to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. To contact Reid in Los Angeles , call 202-224-3542, or send an e-mail via his Senate website: www.reid.senate.gov. Washington, DC
Yes, there is a link between Capitol Hill and Wall Street, just as there is a link between Wall Street and Main Street, despite Barack Obama admitting just days ago that he doesn’t pay much attention to Wall Street. That is painfully obvious, as every time he opens his mouth the market takes another tumble toward hell. Clearly, this is demonstrative of a lack of confidence in Obama and his plans.
What happens on the Hill does not stay on the Hill. Look at the trends – when Obama makes a public pronouncement of some sort regarding the economy, the housing market, his continued attempts at wealth redistribution and tax increases, the stock market falls precipitously. Eventually people will stop investing causing companies to lose revenue, forcing them to lay more employees off, raising unemployment and thus the people’s dependence upon government.
Obama attempts to delineate a difference between Wall and
Main streets, yet they are inexorably linked. In one way shape or form, virtually all Americans – Main Street, are linked to the stock market – Wall Street. Whether it is via an IRA, a 401(k) or some other investment instrument, the average American is touched by the stock market. When the market struggles, consumer confidence wanes, causing a drop in purchasing, and thus the inevitable layoffs.
Obama lied when he said anyone earning less than $250,000 would not see their taxes raised. By allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, he is doing just that – causing a raise in taxes on anyone owning stock as capital gains taxes will increase. Pushing for a reduction in allowable home mortgage interest deductions will raise the taxes of anyone owning a home. By seeking to disallow charitable contributions as a legitimate deduction, people’s taxes will not only rise, but charitable contributions will fall as a result. This in turn diminishes the ability of charities to help those in the direst of need, thus forcing them to seek increased government assistance, ultimately costing the taxpayers more money.
If not raising taxes on 95 percent of Americans is an Obama goal that he believes will help jumpstart the economy, taxes should not be raised on 100 percent of Americans for the same reason. To do otherwise defies logic, but then, so too does the notion of government making things better for the American people by running them. Instead, government takes hold of something and runs it into the ground. All one needs to do is examine the DMV, US Postal Service and the dilapidated state of public education in this country. But public education is a topic for another column.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.