The Corruption of Big Spending Democrats

Buried in a recent Politico story is a line that reveals the utter corruption of “money in politics.” But not that of money spent electioneering, but that spent by government from the assumed bottomless pockets of the American taxpayer. It is a corruption that has destroyed the Constitution, laid waste the rule of law, perverted our system, and crushed the American way of life and it must end.

The Politico segment in question is from an April 17 piece talking about the failure of the anti-Second Amendment Democrats of getting their gun-banning bills passed in the Senate. It is a quote from a gun-ban advocacy group decrying that “bribery” doesn’t work in politics like it used to.

“Bribery isn’t what it once was,” said an official with one of the major gun-control groups. “The government has no money. Once upon a time you would throw somebody a post office or a research facility in times like this. Frankly, there’s not a lot of leverage.”

It is a revealing quote.

This quote fully acknowledges that the big spending Congress has fallen into a habit of voting on bills based on the money they could get out of it as opposed to voting based on the merit of the law under consideration.

This is one of the reasons that every bill has sometimes dozens of amendments, riders, tack-ons, and additions that shove into the bill things that have nothing at all to do with the main topic. The shame of our process is that we don’t get stand-alone bills meant to address a single subject. These add-ons are all bribes meant to entice votes.

A sad fact is that few of the votes cast by our Senators and Congressmen are cast based on the merits of the main bill. Instead they are cast to get give-aways paid for courtesy of the American taxpayers.

The best reform movement our government could make, one that would help cut the size of government, is to initiate a movement to have stand-alone bills where the only amendments allowed are those that pertain directly to the subject of the bill. That right there will begin to halt the drive to spend cash hand over fist as the sort of add-ons we’ve seen for decades will not be added to bills.

But another benefit of stand-alone bills would be to give we the people a handle on where our representatives really stand on the issues.

Imagine what it would be like if our elected officials were to get in a habit of casting an up or down vote on bills instead of pointing to weasely poison pills as their reason for voting for or against something. We will have elected officials that will have voted on the merits instead of officials hiding behind rhetoric and sure-fire bill killers and we’d be able to amass a reliable guide on what politicians think on a wide range of issues.

As it is now, all too often a Senator will cast a “no” vote on something he might otherwise support because one of his colleagues added some outrageous amendment that had nothing to do with the bill. Conversely, we have votes cast on bills they either don’t really support or don’t care enough to have an opinion on just because they were able to attach an amendment that brings home millions of tax dollars for a pet cause or a payoff to some constituency or special interest.

And the latter is why we have so many un-Constitutional laws in our country today.

In any case, this one little quote sums up very succinctly what is wrong in Washington today. “The power to tax” truly is “the power to destroy” and our elected officials see the U.S. Treasury as their own little piggie bank from which they can draw at any time to pay off pals, cronies, and voters back home all in an effort to keep themselves in office.

They don’t care what’s good for America and they sure as hell don’t care what is Constitutionally legitimate. It’s all about filling their own pockets and those of their buddies with a never-ending flow of tax dollars.

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  • Vagabond661

    The best reform we could make is term limits.

  • GarandFan

    A law for stand-alone-bills has been presented before.

    Congress overwhelmingly rejects such an idea. Go figure.

    Having Congress have to abide by the same laws they pass for everyone else would be a big first step.

  • Brucehenry

    First time for everything, I guess. This is the first time I recall agreeing with the gist of a Warner Todd Huston article.

    Of course, he spoils it by the headline, even though it’s plain that both parties are guilty of this bill-loading practice. If you doubt me, Google “Repubican control of Congress, 1995-2007.”

    But the meat of the piece is something I agree with, don’t you?

    • MartinLandauCalrissian

      I don’t see him blaming only Democrats in the body, of course. The only time he mentions a party in the body is to ID who the quote came from.

    • jim_m

      Agreed. Overspending is a bipartisan problem. There are many issues: the automatic spending increases where Congress calls a reduction in increase a spending cut, the tendency to cut program activity rather than ancillary staff to save money, desire by congressmen to spread federal largess to their constituents in return for votes, etc.

      Term limits are an answer, making the federal government comply with the laws they pass on the rest of us is another, outlawing public employee unions is an absolute necessity too.

    • Jwb10001


    • warnertoddhuston

      Well, crap. It ain’t no fun if everyone just agrees!

      • Agreement from the likes of that would tend to cause me to do a careful review of my thesis.

  • Par4Course

    “The best reform movement our government could make, one that would help cut the size of government, is to initiate a movement to have stand-alone bills where the only amendments allowed are those that pertain directly to the subject of the bill.”

    I disagree. Illinois, for example, has long had a single-subject rule but it has not helped the corruption that affect politicians’ action in the Land of Lincoln.

    Instead, the best reform would be to simply cut the size of government back to spending no more than it takes in. These sleazy payoffs are generally financed by borrowing from our children and grandchildren to pay for them. The more spending, the more corruption. Cutting back about $1 T per year would go a long way to keeping the bums more honest.

    I agree with the post that advocates term limits, which would also help.

    • ackwired

      They would just take more off budget. Bush financed a whole war that way for years.

      • jim_m

        So your claim is that FDR kept WWII under budget? There has always been an understanding that national security would at times necessitate deficit spending. What the heck do you think war bonds were about?

        • ackwired

          There you go again, Jim, making stuff up so you can argue with it. By the way there is a big difference between deficit financing and taking something off-budget. Check it out.

          • jim_m

            Do you honestly think that every expense for any war was budgeted? Your complaint is just silly. You have not shown that Bush is all that different from his predecessors.

            Plus to top off your disgusting hypocrisy you ignore the fact that obama has operated off budget for 4 years now. EVERYTHING obama has spent has been without a real budget.But nooooo, you aren’t ever going to find anything wrong with that. It’s only wrong when a GOP president spends even a dollar off budget.

      • Par4Course

        Obama may have been right when he said Bush’s level of deficit spending was “unpatriotic.” But that would make Barry’s deficits treasonous. Consistency would say that Republican deficit spending is bad and Democratic deficit spending is much worse.

        My point was that the government should not engage in deficit spending; it should live within its means. That doesn’t mean moving things “off budget” but actually balancing revenues and expenditures.

  • If the U.S. Constitution were amended in order to give the POTUS the ability to make line-item vetoes, then it wouldn’t matter how many irrelevant amendments were attached to a bill, because the POTUS would be able to use line-item vetoes to eliminate the amendments.

    • Jwb10001

      Except a partisan president would allow all the nonsense from his party and none from the opposing party. Just another opportunity to tip the scales.

    • Even with the potential for abuse, the line-item would be a better system than we have now. Single-issue legislation would be far better, and of course eliminate the need for a line-item veto power.

    • Key phrase: “POTUS would be able to use” – not “would use
      There’s a big difference between being able to do something, and actually doing it.

    • JWH

      would be able to use line-item vetoes to horse-trade with members of Congress to get their votes.


  • One thing that the Founders apparently didn’t have the foresight to codify in the Constitution is the single-issue stand-alone requirement for legislation. This is what sucks many from both parties into the vortex that is Washington, D.C. Once they’ve gone around for a few cycles they become unable to be anything but part of the problem.

  • JWH

    Not sure this can be attributed to today’s Republicans OR Democrats. Patronage, log-rollling, and the spoils system have been around since the beginning of our republic.