To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

They Just Don't Get It

I was briefly excited a few weeks ago when it seemed that Congressional Republicans were finally returning to their fiscally conservative roots. There was all this talk of off-setting the cost of hurricane relief with spending cuts elsewhere.

Then Republicans started talking about off-setting the $60 billion spent on hurricane relief this year by cutting spending elsewhere by $50 billion over the next five years. This hardly constitutes fiscal sanity, especially when you consider the fact that the federal government is expected to spend at least $13 trillion over the next five years.

Then the Senate cut that proposed $50 billion savings to $39 billion. Now, according to CQ (subscription required), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Senate Budget Chairman Judd Gregg (R-NH) are proposing to use about $3.9 billion of that savings to pay for Bush's coo-coo bird flu plan.

The final savings could end up being about $35 billion over five years. To put this "savings" in context, the federal government will spend that much in October just on interest payments to cover the national debt for one month.