In a world where Americans have become used to the word “trillion” when it comes to government spending, the word “billion” barely gets a glance. But a billion is still a lot of money and 300 billion is a “whole-lotta money.” As former Senator Everett Dirkson (a budget hawk) famously said, “You know, a billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”
So, ask you, what are you talking about, Dr. Filly? I am talking about the fact that our new Budget Director went over the books for the Obama years and discovered over $300 billion per year in unauthorized government spending. That is almost $1000 from every man, woman and child in the United States – EVERY YEAR. (Here’s a list.)
[Source: Mulvaney Discovers 300 Billion In Unauthorized Government Spending, by Mark Meuser; Meet your unauthorized federal government, by Danny Vinic]
Mulvaney announced that the federal government has continued to spend money on programs that Congress only authorized for a set period of time. With the National debt getting close to $20 Trillion, a savings of $300 Billion year upon year is substantial.
Assuming the best, apparently no one in the budget department realized these programs were expired, and they kept authorizing the government to spend these funds. Now that the Office of Management and Budget is aware of this unauthorized spending, do you expect it to stop?
Not likely! As you will see, some of the “unauthorized expenditures” won’t be defunded! The Obama administration isn’t the only administration to blame (although it is far and away the winner). The State Department hasn’t been reauthorized since 2003 (Bush 43). For the Federal Trade Commission and National Weather Service, it’s 1998 (Clinton) and 1993 (Bush 41), respectively. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has been operating with an expired authorization since way back in 1981 (our beloved Ronald Reagan). If you think these expenditures will disappear, I have some property near Okeechobee, Florida for sale (only a few pythons on the property) and you might be interested.
Take the FEC for example. If you think there is going to be a battle over the debt limit, imaging Congress arguing annually about limits on campaign finance or limits (or the very existence) of super PACs? We’ll never get health care reform or our tax code simplified.
Here is the problem. There are virtually no political consequences for members of Congress for failing to pass these reauthorizations. The courts have ruled that appropriations in absence of an authorization are legal, relieving pressure on lawmakers.
Now, at least, you know about these. But you’ll forget shortly in the mayhem of Washington. So nothing will change. Plan to continue your $1000 per donation to these political projects.
Big Government is Bad Government! It’s axiomatic!