Barbara Mikulski, Spending Champ

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) is the new chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the powerful body that spends taxpayers’ money. If you haven’t already moved to Australia, this may be the signal you’ve been waiting for.

On the Senate floor Wednesday, defending a spending increase she had added to yet another emergency spending bill even as the country worries about looming fiscal disaster, she responded to criticism from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Coburn, she said, “has said on many occasions that he has been the defendant of the taxpayer. Well, so am I.” 

Presumably she meant that she is a “defender” of the taxpayer. Though taxpayers no doubt feel like defendants whenever Mikulski takes the floor. She has the worst rating I’ve ever seen from the National Taxpayers Union: She earned an F every single year from 1992 through 2011 on “support for reducing spending and opposing higher taxes. “  Some years she is 98th or 99th in the Senate at protecting taxpayers, and such a ranking may well mean that she tied with other big spenders for the worst record.

As for taxes, I’ve written before that there are many theories of taxation, but the one that best explains the behavior of Congress is the theory most clearly enunciated in 1990 by Mikulski:

Let’s go and get it from those who’ve got it.

Fasten your seatbelts, taxpayers, it’s going to be a bumpy year.