The Weekly Standard’s Daniel Halper noticed Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) saying on the Senate floor that “I am not going to keep cutting the discretionary budget, which, by the way, is not out of control, despite what you hear on Fox News . . . .” It’s rather amazing that Democrats are so blind to our spending problems that some will go as far as to claim they’re a mirage somehow created by Fox News.
In a speech in December, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell named example after example of questionable discretionary spending that Sen. Landrieu seems to think isn’t a problem: “Senator Coburn has shown all of us some of the ridiculous things the taxpayers are paying for with their tax dollars, some of the things that cause us to spend a trillion dollars more than we take in every year. Last year, he put out a report showing how we could save more than $100 billion — or about one tenth of the annual deficit — just by eliminating duplicative and overlapping government programs. We’ve got 94 federal initiatives aimed at encouraging ‘green building’ through 11 federal agencies. We’ve got 14 programs with the sole purpose of reducing diesel emissions. A few weeks ago, Senator Coburn issued a study that showed taxpayers are funding Moroccan pottery classes, promoting shampoo and other beauty products for cats and dogs, and a video game that allows them to relive prom night. Get this: taxpayers also just spent $325,000 on a Robotic squirrel named RoboSquirrel.”
Sen. Landrieu says spending “is not out of control” but taxpayers are funding Moroccan pottery classes and robotic squirrels?
In the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune discussed the scope of the spending problem, saying, “Over the past four years, our country has added nearly $6 trillion to the national debt. At $16.4 trillion, our nation’s total debt is now larger than our entire economy. This means that every man, woman, and child owes a $53,000 share of this debt. That level of spending is unsustainable. . . . Needless to say, we can’t go on like this forever. Eventually, we are simply going to run out of money. And no tax increase, no matter how high, will be enough to save us. The only way—the only way—to dig ourselves out of this hole and put our country on a sound financial footing is to get spending under control.”
As Leader McConnell said today, “Republicans have done their part. The budgets passed by House Republicans over the past couple of years contained fresh ideas that would help solve our fiscal crisis. And policymakers from both chambers — and from statehouses across the country — have put forward a number of their own ideas and proposals too. But from the Democrats? Crickets. Four years on, President Obama and Congressional Democrats still have yet to offer a serious plan to address the economic challenges we face. They’ve been content to wage political war instead. . . . Last week, I came to the floor with a chart that showed that even if the President got every single tax increase he asked us for, we still would not even come close to solving this problem. Not even close. So let’s not waste time with more pointless arguments about tax increases. We had that debate already; it’s done, it’s over. Instead, I call on Democrats to approach the spending debate with the seriousness it demands, and to do it through regular order.”