Congress is probably going to adjourn soon for the November elections without having passed one of the 13 appropriations bills mandated by law. Not one. By any measure, this is a pathetic performance. We have 535 grown men and women who can’t seem to perform the basic function of establishing a budget for our government to operate on.
Why no appropriations bills? To state it simply and correctly: The Democratic-controlled Senate wants to spend more than the Republican president, and neither is budging. Stalemate. A pork-induced stalemate.
I’m not here to bash either the Republicans or the Democrats on spending. They both spend too much to fund their various vote-buying schemes, and they do so without any real accountability to the American taxpayers.
It’s time for “The Taxpayer’s Addendum.”
I make no claims to the exclusive authorship of “The Taxpayer’s Addendum.” It makes such perfect sense that it is beyond imagining that no other person has ever developed and articulated the same idea. “The Taxpayer’s Addendum” is a simple, written acknowledgement from a politician that he recognizes and appreciates the source of the funds he is spending.
The idea is simple. Every time any legislation is introduced at the local or federal level which calls for the expenditure of taxpayer funds the following addendum, “The Taxpayer’s Addendum,” shall be affixed to the end of the bill and signed by all sponsors.
“The Taxpayer’s Addendum” would read:
The undersigned sponsors of the foregoing legislation understand that its passage and enactment into law will necessitate the expenditure of monies seized from the taxpayers of (The State of ______ / The United States of America.) Therefore, the undersigned sponsors do hereby affirm that they have read the foregoing legislation and that they fully understand the costs to be borne by the taxpayers.
Further, the undersigned sponsors do hereby state their belief that it is more important for the government of (The State of _______ / The United States of America) to seize this money and spend it for the purposes outlined herein than it is to allow the persons who earned this money to retain it and spend it for their own needs and the needs of their families.
There you have it. Simplicity itself. All that is being asked is for each and every elected representative who sponsors a spending bill to state, in writing, their belief that the needs of the government in this particular instance outweigh and trump the needs of the working Americans who actually earned the money being spent.
Another version of “The Taxpayer’s Addendum” would be added to every grant authorization signed by any agency, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, doling out taxpayer’s funds. Remember, please, that government does not earn money. The only money that government has to spend is money that is taken away from some individual who did, in fact, earn it.
It would take literally tens of thousands of pages to cover just a fraction of the stories of obscene and irresponsible government spending. I can’t resist a few examples:
First, the one-word poem. This story is an oldie, but I never tire of springing it on a complacent and unsuspecting audience. Our taxpayer-funded hero here considered himself to be a poet. He wrote a poem. Not one poetry magazine would publish it. This, of course, was very disrespectful and damaging to our poet’s artistic integrity.
So, our poet-hero applies to National Endowment for the Arts for a grant. He wants to use the money to buy space in a local poetry magazine to publish his poem. Application granted. A total of $750 is transferred from the person who earned it to the person who wrote the poem … and the poem gets published. By the way, the poem consisted of one word. Just one solitary word. Here you go, poetry lovers: “Lighght.”
Now wouldn’t you love to see some NEA bureaucrat tell the taxpayer who forked over this cash that he felt it was more important that the money be used to publish that incredible poem than to allow the taxpayer to use it for, say, medical bills?
Another example? Let me just tell you that Roy Barnes, the Democrat governor of Georgia, recently sent $7,000 of taxpayers’ funds out of his emergency fund to a suburban Atlanta high school to fund a course in table manners! One can only guess that lunchtime at this particular government high school must make the banquet scene in the movie “Tom Jones” look like high tea.
By the way, I did have a Georgia state senator introduce “The Taxpayer’s Addendum” a few years back. Couldn’t even get a hearing. Surprised?