Just when you thought it was impossible to stop the Obama Administration and Congress from going on an uncontrolled spending spree with our tax dollars, a lowly junior senator with no political aspirations has stepped up to defend us.
While Republicans have offered an alternate to the so-called economic stimulus bill that has zero chance of being enacted, and the infamous gang of 14 moderates (some say 20) is meeting to come up with a pork-lite compromise, Tom Coburn, the only practicing doctor in the United States Senate, is doing what he does best, taking a scalpel to the massive bill in an effort to carve it down to size.
You might say that Dr. Coburn is preforming a spendingectomy.
The process is painfully slow. This operation could take days or even weeks to complete and there can be serious complications to exposing this patient to the procedure. These include:
- public embarrassment
- possible ousters from office
- the death of political careers
Known side-effects likely to occur from this procedure are:
- occasional outbursts
- red eyes
- inflamed passions
- political hyperbole
Frankly, Dr. Coburn doesn’t care if this patient lives or dies. The Hippocratic oath simply doesn’t apply here because this patient is not human. It’s a monster. If left unchecked, it will inflict an untold amount of harm on taxpayers for generations.
Coburn is committed to removing the most egregious spending tumors in this bill with a series of amendments. How many will the good doctor offer? There were 15 on his original list but that is just the beginning.
Dr. Coburn, who is a self-appointed taxpayer watchdog, has term-limited himself. He is the kind of lawmaker our founding fathers had in mind when they designed our system of government. He is the only federal legislator who still goes home to a “real” job on weekends.
The first tumor he successfully removed from the bill was an outrageous $246 million earmark for Hollywood’s movie moguls. This was a thinly-veiled payoff to some of Obama’s biggest supporters. While most industries are suffering, this one is raking in record profits.
Here’s a partial list of other amendments he plans to offer:
- Require that all money given to states be in the form of a loan that must be repaid.
- Require the “making work pay” tax credit to families be non refundable ( a true tax credit and not an expansion of welfare).
- Strike the $2 billion for the FutureGen clean coal power plant to be built in the president’s home state of Illinois. (Last year, the government pulled the plug on this spending boondoggle because it is not cost-effective).
- No funds may go to a public or private institution of higher education that has an endowment of more than $15 billion and/or spends more than $100,000 on lobbying annually.
- Allow no more that $1 billion for federal agency projects inside the beltway.
- Require that all contracts must be subject to competitive bids.
- Strike the $3.25 billion for Workforce Investment Act programs since the WIA has not been reauthorized and the GAO has found it duplicates job-training programs across eight different federal agencies.
- Convert the $9 billion for broadband into loans for internet service providers and telecom companies for infrastructure in market-sustainable areas.
- Prohibit any money from going to Corps of Engineer projects until all the unfinished projects have been completed.
- Prohibit funds for new federal buildings until the government reduces its inventory of surplus real property by 50 percent.
The latest Gallup poll found that only 38 percent of us want this bill to be passed in its current form. How about no capital gains tax on any real estate or stock purchased this year? Now that would really get the economy going without increasing the size of our bloated government. How about reducing the corporate income tax which is the highest in the word and is driving our jobs overseas? After all, most Americans prefer jobs to handouts.
Coburn has identified a long list of other wasteful and non-stimulus spending provisions in this bill like the $400 million for the CDC to screen and prevent STD’s, the $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees and the $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.
Who knows? If enough of us begin calling those bums who are trying to ram this thing down our throats, Coburn may be able to put this patient on life support.
With enough pressure, we might get them to pull the plug on this wasteful bill. Then they could come up with one that would allow us keep more of our money so that we can make our own investments!