Most of us get a few days off at the holidays. We don’t get a long Christmas break like members of Congress. We don’t get a trip to Hawaii like the president, but most of us don’t have jobs, salaries, and publicly-funded perks that provide that kind of indulgence. We don’t enjoy the benefits that go along with pretending to represent taxpayers on Capitol Hill or in the White House.
With federal debt and spending relegated to congressional backwaters until our fiscal crisis returns next year, needy special interests are back in the spotlight. By now you would think that even liberals would be tired of hearing Democrats ramble on about the needy. With spending back on the table almost everyone who isn’t wealthy qualifies as needy: seniors, illegal immigrants, the middle class, the sub-middle class, college students, teachers, children, and Americans who can’t get health insurance because their president’s website, predictably, doesn’t work.
Despite whatever promises you were made, the purpose of government is not to guarantee us a good life. That’s our responsibility. The debate over what the Founding Fathers meant by “general Welfare” has been rendered meaningless now that our government’s overreaching efforts to provide for all endangers the promises it needs to keep. Whatever the general welfare was supposed to mean, that idea has become so corrupted that, ironically, the general welfare now threatens our welfare.
Boondoggles are legislative pornography, elaborately crafted spending vehicles that create government waste by not solving problems. Congress would never be able to agree on what a boondoggle is and Democrats might tell you that there is no such thing, but we all know a boondoggle is coming long before it hits the president’s desk. Consider this snippet from Harry Reid about a proposed cybersecurity bill:
This measure is the product of more than three years of bipartisan cooperation across several committees working diligently to incorporate input from a wide array of public and private sector stakeholders.¹
Committees, stakeholders, lobbyists, and special interests are the problem.