Opinion by George McClellan:
The 2015 Budget Control Act, agreed to by both parties and the Obama Administration, that should have set spending levels to not exceed $1.06 trillion, was tossed out by the GOP when they passed the Omnibus Spending Bill for 2016, a vote so contentious that ‘conservative’ congressmen everywhere, who voted for it, are being challenged for their seats simply on that basis alone. They seem to forget that no politician is entitled to keep their seat. It’s ours!
Indeed, discretionary spending levels in the Omnibus Bill now exceeds, by $50 billion, the levels originally agreed to in the 2015 Act. Demonstrably, this was a gross betrayal of trust between Republican law makers and the base, and smart voters know it. As I mentioned previously, the BCA set a maximum amount of discretionary spending and not a goal to be met. This continues year after year and, as I understand it, America is broke. We cannot conduct our household spending that way, why do we allow Congress to do so?
Now we are facing FY 2017 with still rising spending levels threatening to exceed the new caps. Obama will be gone but his programs will linger. The same will happen in 2018 unless and until, we can remove legislatures who refuse to stop spending tax payers money we don’t have!
Are you aware of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCC) fund? Agreed spending levels under the Bi-partisan Budget Act (BBA), stand at $73.7 billion. Defense gets $58.8 billion and non-defense gets about $15.0 billion (for this year). In other words, OCC spending has increased $16.0 billion every year regardless of attempts to reign it in and set workable limits.
Who would have thought? Of that OCC money, $8 billion will be allocated to cover the State Departments base budget needs and will not therefore, be applied to the anti-terrorist war effort or military defense. In other words, the OCC funds to the State Dept., is simply a “slush fund” of non-defense discretionary spending that allows the administration, through the State Dept. to continue to meddle in foreign affairs without DoD involvement. I suspect they really know.
It even gets worse. While it sounds nice, the Omnibus Bill increases emergency spending by $7.1 billion for natural disasters and ,“presidential declarations of other disasters,” i.e.: the round up of designated pro-American, pro-constitution, tea party groups, as authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act. I’m just saying. The triggers are there. Watch for ‘em!
Another $1.5 billion is provided to combat medicare and medicaid waste, fraud and abuse with $698 million to be provided to the Dept. of the Interior for emergency declarations. They’re talking forest fires, that sort of thing, but, does Bundy Ranch or Burns, Oregon come to mind?
Other catch-all gimmicks embedded in the Omnibus Bill is the CHiMPs program, meaning Changes in Mandatory Programs to increase spending, in language cunningly designed to bust through and increase the agreed to discretionary spending caps. Is there no end to perfidy? This CHiMPs program should be entirely eliminated by a new congress as the fraud it is.
These few paragraphs only illuminate two or three outrages perpetrated on taxpayers through GOP’s stealth, guile and malfeasance. The Congress itself is an exercise in waste, fraud and abuse. Something must be done about it. How about tossing out the old and putting some new folks in there! It may also be time to return to a Base Budgeting Program as well.
Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em! (9 April 2016)