400 Capitol Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
- Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
- Local 202.783.3870
The Omnibus Spending Bill is working its way through Congress. The bill will spend $410 billion dollars to continue or increase funding to hundreds of government programs. There are plenty of reasons to oppose the legislation, including these 10 reasons you should let your Congressmen know about:
1. The Omnibus Bill will Cost Taxpayers $410 Billion
After spending $787 billion on a stimulus bill, Congress and the President now want to spend another $410 billion of our tax dollars. Last year the deficit was over $1.2 trillion and is slated to be over $2 trillion this year. The national debt is nearly $11 trillion now—and that’s not counting what’s owed on entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. The size of the American economy is estimated at about $14.7 trillion. A few more years with budget deficits like this one and government will owe more money than the total amount that Americans produce each year. The spending has to slow down sometime or our children and grandchildren will be saddled with an un-repayable mountain of debt—if it is not too late already.
2. The Omnibus Bill Contains 9,000 Earmarks
Reports say the bill contains 9,000 different earmarks totaling $5 billion. The American people have had enough with our tax dollars going to Congress’ pet project.
3. The Omnibus Bill Fights School Choice
The Washington D.C. scholarship fund currently receives federal money to provide school vouchers for D.C. students. Some 1,700 students receive vouchers of up to $7,500 that they can take to any public or private school in the District to help with tuition costs, giving their parents more choices. This bill requires approval by a House subcommittee and the District simultaneously to continue the program past this year—a hurdle school choice opponents know will be very difficult to clear, given who is in control and their relationships with the teachers unions.
4. The Bill Allows Government to Limit Green House Gasses Based on Potential Harm to Endangered Species
Polar bears are allegedly being driven to extinction by global warming that melts their habitat. The omnibus bill allows the Department of the Interior to roll back special rules that restrict application of endangered species law outside of the area local to polar bears. If the bill passes, the Interior Department could potentially use endangered species laws to limit emissions in the entire country.
5. The Bill Spends Billions Wastefully
One does not have to search for long to find examples of wasteful spending in the bill. Congress plans to spend $31 million to finish construction on the Capitol Visitor Center. Much of the spending in the bill could be used more efficiently by the private sector to achieve the same goals. Agricultural research, for instance, receives $1.1 billion, but private sector agricultural businesses already spend billions on research. $30.3 billion is marked for the National Institutes of Health for research on deadly diseases, but private sector medicine already spends billions and would presumably spend more if their taxes were lower.
6. The Omnibus Gives Taxpayer Money to ACORN and other Special Interest Groups
The omnibus legislation gives $245 million for “Housing Counseling” to be administered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Previously these funds ended up in the hands of ACORN, an activist group convicted of vote fraud and spearheading a campaign to trespass on and take over foreclosed properties. That money comes on top of what ACORN and other groups that helped to elect the President are already receiving from the stimulus bill.
7. Combined with Stimulus Spending, 9 Major Federal Agencies are Averaging a Budget Increase of 80 Percent this Year!
Real GDP grew at 2.2 percent last year in this country. This bill represents an 8 percent spending increase over last year’s amount on the same government agencies. That puts government growth just in this bill at over 3 times the growth rate of the economy. Government must be stopped before it grows so large that it stifles out all economic growth.
When the money from the stimulus is added to spending from omnibus, the agencies that receive funding from both are receiving on average 80 percent more than last year. Are you getting 80 percent more out of those government programs?
8. Central Planning Does not Work
If centrally planned government spending on a grand scale produced economic growth, the Soviet Union would have won the Cold War. If government spending on a grand scale produced economic growth we would be in the middle of the Bush Boom right now. It doesn’t. Working, saving, and investing leads to economic output and increases in productivity lead to growth. Government should step out of the way, lower taxes, and allow many of these services to be provided by the private market. That would give consumers more choices, taxpayers could keep more of what they earn, and we would all end up better off.
Building up the national debt and taxing productive members of our society will not lead to prosperity. Government should cut back massively on spending now before it’s too late.
9. It Funds More Damaging Agriculture Subsidies
$20.5 billion of the money is going to Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Appropriations. Reason.tv has a great video on farm subsidies. The subsidies make poor people in other countries worse off and primarily go to big agri-business anyway. Cotton subsidies alone cost American taxpayers over $2 billion a year.
President Obama in his address to the join session of Congress said his next budget will, “end direct payments to large agribusinesses.” Congress should do so starting with this budget.
10. Government is Too Big Already
FreedomWorks chairman and former economics professor, Dick Armey, has developed a theory on the effects of government growth on economic growth. The “Armey Curve” explains the negative burden government has on prosperity. The idea, borrowing from Arthur Laffer’s curve (which demonstrates that tax revenues fall when the tax burden gets so high that it no longer pays to work), is that at some point the burden of government spending exceeds the private economy’s ability to carry it. More spending often does more harm than good, because it takes more money out of the system than it creates and thereby destroys jobs and leads to stagnation and diminished prosperity for all.