"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bush and Small Band of Repubs Promise to Stop Pork-Laden Spending Bill

The Wall Street Journal opinion page reports that President Bush "is promising to break his dubious record [of never vetoing a bill sent to him by Congress] by nixing the astonishing supplemental spending bill passed by the Senate yesterday." The Journal article opines:

If ever a bill deserved a veto, this is it. The ball of blubber rolled out of the world's greatest spending body at $108.9 billion, a mere $14.4 billion more than Mr. Bush requested. The original request was for Iraq, Afghanistan and hurricane relief, but these "emergency" spending bills have become regular bacchanalia because they fall outside the limits set by the annual budget spending "caps." . . .

The bill passed 78-20, which means this Senate bender is bipartisan. But 35 GOP Senators have also sent Mr. Bush a letter pledging to support his demand to reduce the bill's total cost; that's one more vote than needed to block a veto override. Meanwhile, over in the House, GOP leaders are finally behaving like, well, Republicans. Speaker Denny Hastert declared the Senate bill "dead on arrival" in a House-Senate conference. "The House has no intention of joining in a spending spree at the expense of American taxpayers," he added. Hallelujah.

The story notes that Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) "took to the Senate floor to deplore Mr. Bush's veto threat as an outrage that would deny money for all sorts of domestic disasters, including farm losses and coal-mine accidents. 'If the President wants to veto a bill that funds the troops, if he wants to veto a bill that funds victims of Hurricane Katrina . . . have at it,' he taunted."

The threat, of course, is that the Democrats will paint the Republicans in their cliched character as tightfisted Scrooges who care more about keeping taxes down than about throwing money at everything under the sun.

The Republicans response should be, "Please, don't throw us into that briar patch!"

6 comments:

James Elliott said...

I like how the opportunity to stop a bill that's only 13% higher in spending than he requested in the first place all of a sudden lets Bush look like a fiscal hawk.

S. T. Karnick said...

13 percent higher spending is nothing? That's precisely the attitude that has ballooned the federal budget to its current absurd heights.

James Elliott said...

While I'm not surprised that you'd take the comment as an endorsement of spending, it really isn't. It's pointing out that there's really a lot of grasping of straws out there for something to hold out as an example of GOP virtue.

James Elliott said...

It is perhaps incumbent upon me to point out that this is not a statement about what you, Mr. Karnick, have said. You've been a consistent critic of spending.

S. T. Karnick said...

Thanks for the clarification, but I still must point out that these 13 percent increases are hell, and resisting them is indeed a good thing. And yes, it is heroic given the kind of squealing the big spenders are going to be making over this. I've been criticizing the Republicans' spending habits consistently, as you point out, and many of them are on board with this bloated spending bill and should be flogged publicly. In my view, those who are resisting the bill deserve some praise—although I agree that we can do MUCH better than just stopping the increases. We can and should cut back by hundreds of billions of dollars. But it's gotta start somewhere....

S. T. Karnick said...

By the way, I hope I don't sound peeved at Mr. Elliott. I'm not. His point that the Republicans are still big spenders in medium spenders' garb is definitely true.