How Congress Gets Away with Spending THIS Much Money
by Amy Payne, Heritage Foundation, January 16, 2014
Imagine for a moment that you were an NBA superstar. It’s tough to fathom making $30.5 million per year like Kobe Bryant does—but just think of that level of wealth.
Even with that superstar salary, to pay for this year’s $1 trillion federal spending spree you would have to work for 32,837 years.
This is completely beyond comprehension.
It’s one reason Congress routinely gets away with spending our money this way—money becomes abstract after a certain point. We know what an unexpected $700 car repair bill can do to our monthly budget. But a $700 million government program? That has no basis in reality.
>>> How much is a trillion dollars? Watch our video to find out:
This points to the great divide over government spending—do many of these programs have a basis in reality?
“It’s a question of what do you think the federal government ought to be doing,” said Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Fellow, Romina Boccia.
Congress appears to be passing the trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill pretty easily this week — the House approved it 359-67 — and it is overlooking this fundamental question. How should the federal government spend taxpayers’ hard-earned money?
Members are focused on bringing home the subsidies, grants, and other favors for their pet projects—many of which are proven failures. Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) used her sway to land a special carve-out for a federally subsidized transit system in her state.
As Genevieve Wood, senior contributor to The Foundry, said on a Heritage Live hangout yesterday, “There is nobody that doesn’t have their hand in the cookie jar.”
The relatively small, district-level pork projects are dwarfed, however, by the entitlement programs that are actually sucking away our money year after year. Just take a look at where U.S. taxpayers’ money goes: Nearly half of every dollar goes to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
This week, Members of Congress are ignoring the real issues facing the U.S. budget in favor of continuing all the wasteful spending you can imagine.
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.