Controlling Federal Spending: Can We Talk?

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Federal spending will be just under $3 trillion dollars in the next fiscal year.

This is outrageous and unnecessary. Members of congress give reelection top priority each day. The needs of America are a distant second.

We should seek 25-30 year olds to run for congress. Among other priorities we would guide these young candidates to set an example by reducing congressional salaries and perks, including their hefty pensions.

Voters might in turn support these candidates in larger numbers with many small donations and heavy internet support and with an eye toward making lobbyists as unwelcome as possible. We would also encourage young candidates to revise federal withholding-downward, of course. This would have no cost.

Remember, congress doesn't have to come to you to ask, to spend your money. They can spend it as freely as they like. Federal withholding sends them $57 billion dollars a week, 52 weeks a year. It sits there ahead of time waiting to be fought over.

Because you don't see it or touch it, you don't even think of it as yours.

Powerful Committee Chairmen wind up with the largest share of your hard earned dollars. This is true in both the House and Senate. The big prizes to chair are the Appropriations (spending) Committees.

On those committees, the chairmen, bestow favors on lesser committee members, who, in turn support and vote for the chairman's larger share; they get theirs, he gets his.

Before federal withholding existed, congress didn't have this massive pile of money just sitting there to be fought over by these powerful committee chairmen, who reel in the most pork, to send back to their district.

Out of 435 members of the House of Representatives, there are just a few who seem to put the needs of the country above their own interests. One such member is Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Jeff Flake is mentioned because his battle in the 109th congress succeeded in putting earmarks-pork projects-under the spotlight.

This forced most in congress to find a new devious means of getting money spent in their home districts for the purpose of getting reelected.

Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina also fought great battles for taxpayers, in the Senate.

Several weeks ago, the big spenders came up with a new scheme, not detailed here. Now that latest scheme might be also be halted under pressure from the American public.

We might have a slight bit of momentum going but we still "need a new plan Stan" to do anything that will last.

Even though the battle to keep that money from being spent on earmarks (pork) is a first step, that money will still be spent on other things, which likely means it could have been done without in the first place.

Since federal withholding was put in place, all efforts to control pork barrel spending and other wasteful spending have failed. Before FDR, federal spending was 3.9% of GDP. It is now 20.3%.

Seniority in congress is a major culprit. As congressmen stay and stay, they set the stage to become millionaires and take care of as many of their special interests as possible, family, friends, constituents and lobbyists.

As they do this, they keep committing future generations to more debt.

In the case of federal spending, we must devise new means to solve the problem. Congress presently has the desire to continue its reckless spending, and the tools, especially federal withholding, to do so. It has proven it cannot help itself.

This is why we should look for 25-30 year olds. No doubt many in that age bracket would act in their own long-range interest, which would also be in America's interest. Taking necessary action is an American habit and tradition.

Let's look to the young, let's hope they will come forward.

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Mick McNesby has 1 articles online

Mick McNesby is a former tax advisor, consultant and negotiator. He was a frequent guest on political talk shows in Atlantic City, N.J., discussing the benefits of the lower cost of government. He can be visited at

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Controlling Federal Spending: Can We Talk?

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This article was published on 2010/04/04
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