Nine words taken from Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution are causing quite a stir among journalists and pundits today. The “controversial” clause reads in relevant part:
Incoming Tea Party-elected officials continue to vow to target deficit spending. Fox News writes, “Republicans elected to Congress with the help of Tea Party support pledged Sunday to devote themselves to balancing the budget over all else when they start their new jobs on Wednesday.”
According to the federal government’s 2010 financial statements, released in late December, the 2010 deficit was $1.29 trillion, a slight decrease from the 2009 deficit of $1.42 trillion. Despite this minor improvement, the long-term debt when all obligations are taken into account, including such major unfunded liabilities as Social Security and Medicare, is an astounding $64 trillion — and that may be understating things by about $12.3 trillion, says John Williams of ShadowStats.com (as reported by Douglas French on the Ludwig von Mises Institute blog).
When the House of Representatives announced new rules for the Congress that convenes on Wednesday, the mainstream media immediately called them “strict” and even “unprecedented.” The first new rule to take effect will be the reading of the Constitution of the United States and its 27 amendments on the floor of the chamber.
Tea Party support helped coast a number of congressional candidates to victory in the 2010 midterm elections. However, whether those victors will stay true to their alleged Tea Party values remains to be seen. For example, politicians affiliated with the movement have come under harsh criticism for their hypocritical stance on earmarks, as many of the same people who lashed out against earmarks have requested a number of them.
Leave it to Democrats to make the spendthrift Republicans of the George W. Bush era look like tightwads. “The federal government,” reports CNSNews.com, “has accumulated more new debt — $3.22 trillion ($3,220,103,625,307.29) — during the tenure of the 111th Congress than it did during the first 100 Congresses combined, according to official debt figures published by the U.S. Treasury.” That comes to “$10,429.64 in new debt for each and every one of the … people counted in the United States by the 2010 Census,” writer Terence P. Jeffrey explains, adding that the total national debt as of the close of business on December 22 “now equals $44,886.57 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
With the 2010 lame suck session now in the past, what many hope will be a more conservative 112th Congress is poised to begin. As House control transitions from Democrat to Republican, a new agenda rests on the table, and includes an entirely different approach to immigration.
While most politicians campaign on the premise that they are “one of us,” they seem to lose touch with the American people once in office. Three elected officials, however — all Republican members of the House — refuse to let that happen: Tea Party endorsee Joe Walsh of Illinois, Bobby Schilling of Illinois, and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania. All three have indicated their intent to reject the congressional health care plan.
Christmas is a time for hope and as a new Congress is sworn in after the New Year comes the hope that a majority of our elected representatives will honor their oath of office and truly “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and “bear true faith and allegiance to the same….”
Did you know that in 2010 the federal government spent $2.9 million for a study of the video game "World of Warcraft"? How about $1.8 million for a neon sign museum in Las Vegas? Or $823,000 for teaching South African men how to wash their private parts?