Saturday, December 24, 2005

Glass Half Full

Some time ago, I wrote a post about the Porkbusters effort that has been supported by a number of folks across the blogosphere. I feel it is high time that our congressional representatives take a stance against the astounding degree of wasteful "pork" spending that gets tacked on to otherwise needed legislation. The best analogy I can come up with is this:

Imagine you are a new father, with bills to pay, a baby to feed, and diapers to buy. Your wife sends you out to the grocery store to pick up those few items that you [a] need and [b] can afford. If you act like a US Senator, you promptly call 99 of your drunk frat brothers to join you, who then load the grocery cart with every last item that they desire....because they are not paying for it. Beer, chips, soda, guacamole dip, a big screen TV, etc., all of the great things you could have if you had an unlimited budget; and all on your tab, sometimes without the money left over to buy the things you truly needed.
Now, imagine the hell you'd catch when you got home with an empty wallet and with your buddies taking home the goodies to their houses! I can tell you SWIMBO would be so mad it would be hot tongue and cold shoulder for dinner that night, and every night for a good year. It is amazing to me that the US taxpayers don't respond in the same manner, and that we accept the idea that "pork" in legislation is simply a fact of life. It. Does. Not. Have. To. Be!

I wrote my two Senators, asking them to support the Fiscal Watch Team Offset Package --- which basically says that we need to cut out the extras in order to pay for true national needs, such as Katrina relief. One has finally responded, and although he did not specifically endorse the Porkbusters effort, he did state (emphasis mine):
"In short, I will be open to any and all proposals that will effect greater discipline. If we must change Senate rules, current law, or even amend the Constitution to instill fiscal discipline in this process so be it."
Ok. The glass is half full. Perhaps we may be able to get Congress to change its rules so that last minute spending does not get tacked on to, for example, a highway bill. Perhaps pigs will fly too, but one can hope. In this era of easy communication with your congressional representatives (believe me, you and your internet savvy friends can send a lot of emails), it's time to put the pressure on those folks, and keep them out of your grocery basket.