Congress Passes Historically Bad Bill

By John J. Duncan Jr.

Congress has proven once again that the easiest thing in the world to do is to spend other peoples’ money.

The one-trillion, seven hundred-billion dollar bill passed in Washington on December 23rd was over 4,100 pages in length and was released a little after 1:20 a.m.

One member calculated that because many parts referred to other sections of the U.S. Code, you would have to read over 6,000 pages to have read it in full.

The bill led Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to describe the passage of this omnibus appropriation bill as “one of the most shameful acts” he had ever seen in the history of the U.S. House.

McCarthy, a friend of mine, has always been a moderate conservative, and has never been described as “far right.”

He has always spoken in measured calm ways, never one to make extreme or hysterical statements. I have never before heard him describe a bill as a “monstrosity” and one filled “with left-wing pet projects.”

This bill was passed just a little over two months after the U.S. national debt passed the 31 trillion dollar mark.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation said $31,000,000,000,000 is more than the combined value of the economies of China, Japan, Germany and Great Britain.

No one can humanly comprehend how much even one trillion dollars is. What it means now, though, is that we will be very lucky if we do not have a severe, prolonged recession.

The timing of all this could not be worse, coming on the heels of the trillions spent because of the greatly exaggerated coronavirus outbreak.

Some people naively think the Federal Reserve will keep us from having prolonged recessions or even a major depression.

Yet our Great Depression came 16 years after the Federal Reserve System was created, and we have had several recessions since it started in 1913.

While this omnibus bill was filled with many wasteful pork barrel projects which should have been paid for by local governments which were flush with Covid Cash, the worst part to me is the $45 billion for Ukraine.

Before the war with Russia started, the Ukrainian Government was rated as one of the most corrupt in the world. In spite of that, we have given them many billions of dollars already, and now $45 billion more.

I have nothing good to say about Putin, but he would not have started this latest war if President Trump had been re-elected.

Michael O’Hanlon of the very liberal Brookings Institution wrote in USA Today on November 14, 2019, that President Trump had been wrong on many things, but that he was right about opposing Ukraine’s joining NATO. This was the main thing that caused Putin to go to war there.

O’Hanlon wrote: “According to Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker, President Trump realizes that attempting to seek to bring Ukraine into the Western orbit through NATO membership has been counterproductive. Indeed, that American policy…has managed to help inflame U.S.-Russia and Ukraine-Russia ties without making life better for the people of Ukraine.”

On December 8, the four largest American defense contractors sponsored a lavish reception at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C. These companies are celebrating the war and the billions of dollars it will bring to them.

Almost every one of my 30 years in Washington ended with the passage of a huge omnibus appropriations bill just like the one in this last Congress.

I voted against all of them. One year my late wife was almost embarrassed to go to church because the Sunday morning headline said something like “House passes spending bill 390 to 37, Duncan votes NO.” Only 15 voted against it in the Senate that year.

But a couple of days later, CNN, before it became a left-wing network, ran a story showing pigs oinking in a farmyard, and the story reported on all the ridiculous, wasteful projects in the bill. My wife felt a little better about my vote after seeing that report.

This latest bill is just another example of the worst, most wasteful way to spend taxpayer money.