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It’s that time of year. Every child knows that Santa is watching his or her every move. He’s making a list and checking it twice. He’s going to find out who has been naughty or nice.
This year, there is a new kind of Santa in every city and town across America. These Santas are not watching the children. These Santas are watching our lawmakers in Washington. They remember the unwanted present (Obamacare) that arrived last Christmas Eve and they are determined to do whatever it takes to return it.
These Santas are in department stores, shopping malls and on every street corner. They are average Americans who are making lists and checking them twice. In two short years, when the next election rolls around, they plan to dump any and all of their elected representatives who did not heed the message that was sent in November and continue to misbehave.
The red glow you see surrounding them is not from the traditional Christmas suit trimmed in fur. They are red hot with anger over the $127,000 debt that has been added to each and every taxpayer’s credit card, and they are bound and determined that it won’t get any bigger.
Forget the sugar plums and brightly wrapped gifts our big-spending lawmakers traditionally pass out each and every year. This is not going to work anymore. Never mind the empty promise that “someone else will pay the bill.” This new breed of Santas know that the “someone else” is their children and grandchildren.
Our entrenched lawmakers may be willing to sacrifice the future, but these Santas aren’t willing to go along with the plan. Enough already! These Santas are willing to have less to see that their children aren’t shortchanged, so stop with the candy and presents!
Traditionally, we taxpayers have had short memories, but not anymore. Our Santa sleighs aren’t filled with goodies – they are filled with weapons:
- The “Big Pig Book,” the annual compilation of the pork-barrel projects in the federal budget from Citizens Against Government Waste
- Bill Tally, the net cost or savings of all the bills sponsored or co-sponsored by each member of Congress, from the National Taxpayers Union
- The annual Report Card on Congress, which assigns a letter grade based on every single vote that affects taxes, spending and debt, also from NTU
This year a new weapon has been added to the arsenal by Taxpayers for Common Sense, Taxpayers Against Earmarks and WashingtonWatch.com. It’s a searchable database that has the number and total dollar amount of all earmarks requested by each lawmaker, not just the ones that actually make it into legislation.
This country is about to go over a cliff financially. Despite all the talk in Washington about cutting out waste and getting spending under control, this new database shows that it’s just talk. The appropriations bills for the 2011 fiscal year are yet to be approved. However, the sheer number and dollar amount of these earmarks are staggering.
Members of the current House requested some 18,431 of them for a total of $52,754,363,975. Members of the Senate requested 20,863 earmarks for a total of $77,895,491,525. Together there were almost 40,000 of these earmark requests worth more than $100 billion dollars.
And what were some of these must-have projects that were important enough to run up the nation’s credit card?
Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, wants $26,000,000 to construct a new addition onto an existing swimming pool facility in Fort Richardson, Alaska.
Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa., wants $10,000,000 to establish the John P. Murtha Center for Public Service.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., requested $5,000,000 for an engineering project at the University of South Florida.
Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., wants $1,000,000 to support infrastructure expansion along the beach Park Promenade waterfront for the city of Pascagoula.
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, wants $2,500,000 to redevelop the historic downtown area in Baytown, Texas, and to purchase trash cans, bike racks and decorative street lighting.
Lumps of coal to Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Mary Landriew, D-La., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who turned in the highest number of earmark requests in the Senate. More lumps of coal to Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Steve Rothman, D-N.J., James Clyburn, D-S.C., Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., and Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., who had the highest number of earmark requests in the House.
Yes, we are no longer interested in what you say. We now have the ability to watch what you do. We are making a list and checking it twice. Going to find out who is naughty and nice!