support 'downsize dc' and their Read the Bills act. here is one reason why:
a friend pointed out a new york times story on two of the details of the 636 page Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
"Senate on Saturday overwhelmingly approved a huge package of legislation"
"There is also an array of items buried deep in the legislation, and the implications of some of them is not yet clear. There are provisions, for example, that grant or extend Section 8 federal housing subsidy eligibility to residents of specific properties in Malden, Mass., and San Francisco.
And there is a provision tailored narrowly for Chrysler to ensure that it can benefit from a corporate tax incentive even though the company is now structured as a partnership not a corporation.
The bill does not name Chrysler but rather describes an unnamed automobile manufacturer “that will produce in excess of 675,000 automobiles” from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2008."
a multi-billion dollar piece of legislation has notes about specific properties in san francisco. how could one weigh the pros and cons of section 8 coverage for a building in san francisco in the face of the multi-billion dollar issues? its impossible. that means whoever can attach this wording to a bill that is known to have popular support, can write laws like a dictator - with no vote at all. as long as the change is small enough to go unnoticed. a multi-billion-dollar package is pretty good cover to have what might be a million dollar benefit for one person.
such a relatively small matter should be legislated at an appropriate level, such as the state or county level. if congressional approval is required, have a bill just to cover section 8 grantings. the current system needs to be changed.
Also, the housing bill raises the national debt ceiling from $9.8 trillion to $10.6 trillion. The entire federal income for 2007 was $2.4 trillion dollars. The government is in debt for 4 years worth of its income. $800 billion dollars has not been taken from some giant savings account or from bars of gold in fort knox. It was taken from the money you already have by diluting its value. It was 'printed' by the federal reserve. Let me demonstrate with the keypad on my keyboard: "FEDERAL RESERVE TERMINAL: Enter amount of money to loan to top-tier banks: $800,000,000". There. I just created 800 billion that will end up in loans and printed notes.
A law or constitutional amendment that congress can only spend the money it takes in would be helpful. it seems simple but like an american consumer with a new credit card, they're spending like there is no tomorrow. If an average american income is $40,000 a year. the federal government would have $160,000 in credit card debt.
i just came across this site:http://www.federalbudget.com/
"In Fiscal Year 2006, the U. S. Government spent $406 Billion of your money on interest payments* to the holders of the National Debt. Compare that to NASA at $15 Billion, Education at $61 Billion, and Department of Transportation at $56 Billion."
"Each year since 1969, Congress has spent more money than its income."