"Emergency" Spending Bill
March 20, 2006
funds the federal government through 13 enormous appropriations bills, but even
an annual budget of more than $2 trillion is not enough to satisfy
Washington’s appetite for new spending.
As a result, a new category of spending bill has emerged, known as the
“emergency supplemental” appropriation.
There’s no real emergency, however; Congress simply needs a 14th
spending bill as a grab bag filled with hundreds of pages of goodies for
countless favored groups, industries, individual companies, and foreign
common for dozens of amendments to be added to the supplemental bill, all with
more money for somebody.
emergency supplemental spending bills, once a rarity, have become the norm over
the last ten years in Washington.
There’s always some excuse why Congress cannot stick to its budget, so
supplemental bills are passed to permit spending extra “off-budget” funds.
“Emergency” spending now has become routine, planned spending.
taxpayers should know this latest emergency supplemental bill spends almost $92
billion, making it the largest supplemental appropriation in the history of the
The entire federal budget was less than $92 billion in the early 1960s!
there really an “emergency” that requires $1.2 billion to pay off our allies
for their help in Afghanistan?
If Pakistan, Jordan, and other nations chose to join our war effort, why
can’t their taxpayers foot the bill? Won’t those nations in closer proximity
to Afghanistan benefit from the stability we are told U.S. troops will provide?
Perhaps they should pay us for stabilizing their neighborhood.
But it’s always American taxpayers who end up paying.
is the emergency that requires $36 million for taxpayer-funded broadcasting
How about $30 million to build roads in Liberia?
we’re serious about spending money for emergencies, surely $92 billion could
be better spent addressing the aftermath of two domestic emergencies, namely
hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
real emergency is in Washington, where Congress is spending and borrowing
America into a perfect storm.
As economist James Turk explains, the federal government now relies upon
debt to finance 20% of its spending.
Low interest rates during the 1990s and early 2000s kept interest
payments on government debts- Treasury Bonds and Treasury Bills- somewhat
the same period, however, the Federal Reserve greatly increased the money
supply, which has caught up to us in the form of price inflation.
The Fed now must raise rates to combat this inflation, but higher
interest rates will chill economic growth and slow tax revenue.
To quote Mr. Turk, “The federal government faces a potentially toxic
mix of constrained revenues, soaring expenditures, ballooning debt, and rising
This is the real emergency that must be addressed in Washington, and the only solution is to reduce government spending substantially. If we don’t put the brakes on the spending spree soon, we may find ourselves facing another period of economic malaise that rivals the 1930s.