Congress is set to reconvene starting with the Senate on Tuesday and the House on Wednesday. The biggest issue on the agenda will be the first federal budget under the Bush administration. The battle lines will be drawn by both parties due to the belief that there will not be enough tax revenue this coming year.
The reason for the shortcoming of money is the economic downturn inherited from the Clinton administration. This started with the anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft and the lack of a unilateral energy policy for American consumers.
The Democrats would like to blame it on Bush?s tax cut. In actuality, the tax cut had little to do with the now-predicted deficit because if the economy had continued to grow, there would have been more income for which taxes could have been collected.
Most people would look at the projected deficit as a bad thing because most believe that uncontrolled spending on more social programs and agendas by Congress is a good thing for the nation. I beg to differ. The projected deficit could be a good thing for the nation, because Congress will actually have to watch how they spend our money to ensure there isn?t a deficit. Like any normal personal budget, when income becomes tight, you must choose between needs and wants. And the projected deficit should force Congress to choose between the needs of the country and their wants for future power.
The problem with the budget is not that there is too little money coming in, but that there has been too much money going out for the past couple of decades.
Congress has become accustom to luxurious spending to aid them in their maintaining of power through pork barreling and making Americans more dependent on government. Pork barrel spending is a major problem, the federal government has so much of our money that they use it on projects back in their home districts and states to aid them in the next election.
Another problem is many Americans are wrongly dependent on Social Security and Medicare, which is just the way government wants it; even though Social Security and Medicare programs are seriously flawed.
Congress is also expected to address Campaign Finance Reform and a Patient?s Bill of Rights. Both are complete mistakes. Campaign Finance Reform is a joke, do you really think Congress is going to make their job of getting re-elected harder? Of course not, it is human nature to increase ones power. Campaign Finance Reform is going to make it easier for incumbents to be re-elected by making it harder for their opponents to gain name recognition. The Patient?s Bill of Rights is another joke. HMOs were developed by Congress in the 70s to make healthcare better. Obviously they are telling us that what they did back then didn?t work, so they are going to ?fix it,? again. Yeah right.
Congress should approach the budget as if every year there is a risk of a deficit. Congress needs to rethink the way it is spending our funds that we allow them to use for the good of the country, not the good of themselves. Every department of the government runs what is called a moral hazard in the business world. It is not the governments money, it is ours. The government believes they are not accountable for how taxes are used and/or wasted. They need to seriously rethink their position.
Alex Hardman is a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering.