Last Update 11/9/98

World Watch

This page will contain important info on Global Situations and The Environment (Marek supplies some good Stuff)


The 1998 Spending Spree

Last week we told you that Congress was poised to pass one if the costliest
bills ever, the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Well, they passed it and, in
doing so, finally ended the Spending Spree of 1998.

During 1997, Congress voted against dozens of proposals for specific cuts in
wasteful spending and subsidies. But Congress passed the regular spending
bills in orderly fashion and enacted a balanced budget plan. Mostly due to
a roaring economy, the result was a budget surplus.

In 1998, Congress squandered a significant part of this surplus. The road
to ruin began in May when Congress approved a bloated, $203 billion
transportation spending bill that busted the balanced-budget spending caps
and contained a truckload of pork-barrel highway projects.

Then Congress began calling for more military spending as a matter of
national security even as the House and Senate rejected the Defense
Secretary's request to close more costly, unneeded military bases.

Throughout the summer, Congress had compounded this by failing to perform
its most basic duty of promptly passing budget and spending bills in a way
that permits fair and open scrutiny of government expenditures of taxpayer
money. Indeed, for the first time in 24 years, Congress failed to produce
its basic spending blueprint -- the annual budget resolution. This helped
delay most of the regular spending bills until the last minute.

Finally, last week, Congress passed an omnibus bill that contained almost
4,000 pages, weighed 40 pounds and cost $520 billion. Members had only a
few hours to read the bill, but most rubber stamped it in order to get home
quickly and campaign for reelection. Even so, members clearly knew that the
bill spent from the surplus, contained fraudulent emergency spending and was
loaded with special-interest giveaways.

Now as members of Congress are back in their districts for election-time, we
can reflect on the year's work. The spending spree is over for 1998, but
what will happen next year?

For more information about this issue please contact Brian Hughes (202)
546-8500 x 104 or by email:


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