Once again, DC lawmakers painted themselves into a corner and had to scramble to avoid a government shutdown at the very last minute by reaching another “deal” to fund a major part of the United States government in 2012. Just what grand bargain have the wizards of DC struck this time? Once again the details are scarce, and it looks like we the people will just have to wait a few weeks to actually find out how the government plans on spending the people’s hard-earned tax revenues in 2012. The pattern of these last minute deals in Congress regarding spending bills of the last three-plus years is a pretty neat trick. It allows lawmakers to avoid any accountability or transparency as to how they are spending the people’s money, and this appears to be done by design. When ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi said we will have to pass the bills to see what’s in them, maybe folks should have made a bigger effort to denounce those kinds of oppressive policies and obviously-manipulated lack of transparency right then and there.
Just What Do We Actually Know So Far About This Latest Grand Bargain?
The big bundle of appropriations agreed upon on Dec 15, 2011 which is also know as an omnibus bill,( which Congress constantly tells us they will no longer resort to using in passing spending bills) will fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2012. Total spending in this omnibus bill has been reported at anywhere from 900 billion to 1.1 trillion dollars. As of right now, when this bill lands on President Obama’s desk for his signature, it’s anyone’s guess as to the true costs hidden in it. The Senate Appropriations Committee’s website was last updated on Dec. 8th, proving once again, that the citizenry will just have to wait until after the president signs the bill before they can see what’s in it. How much is that website costing we the people for that laughable example of transparency?
In a much-ballyhooed bunch of irresponsible reporting so far, about all we know about this omnibus bill is that the demands for reapplying stricter travel restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba was taken out. Big whoopee-do there. Of course the earmarks, graft, crony-capitalism and outright tax dollar theft hidden in this omnibus bill will eventually come out, but by then it will be too late for we the people to call up our representatives and express our concerns about this latest example of buffoonery perpetuated by the wizards of Congress. That’s it. Over a trillion dollars of taxpayer funding has been authorized by the United States Congress and we the people have not been told a thing about how it will be spent.
2012 just can’t get here fast enough. Then again, maybe 2012 will just bring about the continuation of the irresponsible debt-spending that will lead America over the edge of the Greek-style debt-cliff she is standing on today. After watching this latest episode in “As the Congressional dog and pony show turns.” it certainly looks that way.