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$200,000 for Capitol Hill bottled water?

The Congressional Budget Office just reported that, in the past two years since President Obama took office, federal spending is up 21.4 percent.

The national deficit was $1.29 trillion in 2010 (second to the $1.4 trillion in Obama’s first year in office – 2009), which means for every $1 the federal government spent this past year, it borrowed 37 cents of it!

The feds will tell you that their outrageous spending habits were necessary to pull our economy out of its recession. But would their same rationale justify the fact that the money Congress spends on itself has soared 89 percent over the past decade, more than three times the U.S. inflation rate?

It’s true. Ten years ago in 2000, the feds spent $2.87 billion to run Capitol Hill. In fiscal year 2010, they almost doubled the amount to an enormous $5.42 billion. From 2000-2010, while inflation went up 26 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Capitol expenses went up 89 percent!

Were all those expenditures necessary to pull the economy out of a recession, too? Will the Obama administration again blame President Bush for its contemptible spending habits in its first two years?

According to Capitol News Connection and the congressional watchdog groups Sunlight Foundation and Legistorm, here are just a few of the itemized personnel costs of your legislative branch of government, including their comparative increased percentages from the year 2000:

Key members of the Senate:

Key members of the House:

Other items:

And if you don’t think those costs are reflective of a nation in economic peril and government run amok, consider momentarily how critical these following costs are to running our country – or are they?

Of course, costs to run Capitol Hill are one more symptom of a totally out-of-control federal government. While U.S. Capitol expenditures rose 89 percent, the costs to operate the entire federal government have skyrocketed 108 percent, from $1.78 trillion to $3.72 trillion.

It’s official. The federal government is inexcusably and outrageously out of control, and President Obama is leading the pack of political pilferers. It is imperative that we oust any and all wayward Washington groupies who played into and enabled the Pelosi-Reid economic bandwagon and at last elect prudent fiscal managers who can stabilize our government and country.

But that will only happen if we the people refuse to be schmoozed by sugar-coated candidates over substantive patriots. We must no longer be duped by charisma over character. We must turn away from electing greedy leaders to God-fearing ones like our founders, who were proud to declare that we are endowed by our “Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

If our country is to survive, we must also elect only those who show proof of fiscal discipline, refuse under all circumstances to increase our national deficit, disdain special interests, are willing to radically cut spending and commit to pass and live under a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget. (Please join the movement to pressure Congress to do so by signing the National Balanced Budget Amendment Coalition campaign petition. And for a voter guide detailing where candidates in your state stand on issues, click here.)

Friends, this next election fight is not for the weak at heart. Those elected next will either plummet our country into a fiscal abyss by maintaining the present course or deliver our economy from utter ruin by turning sharp to avoid economic disaster.

With that elective battle at hand, I call upon the great battalion of patriots to get out and vote on Nov. 2 in the same spirit in which George Washington admonished his army in 1776: “[T]he hour is fast approaching, on which the honor and success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding country depend. Remember officers and soldiers, that you are freemen, fighting for the blessings of liberty – that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men.”

(I also encourage everyone to check out the trailers to the new patriotic films playing near you, “I want your money” and “Battle for America.”)