December 14, 2009 11:54AM

Spending Dissimulation

I was going to call this blog “spending hypocrisy,” but I really needed a stronger word. Maybe “spending dissimulation” or “spending deceit”?

Last Wednesday, Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) introduced legislation for a Bipartisan Fiscal Task Force “to address the nation’s long‐​term budget crisis.” Conrad said “now is the time to act,” and Gregg said:

Congress feels entitled to spend with a blank check and little regard for the future of our economic stability . . . we are swimming in a sea of red ink that will drown any chance our children have for prosperity or even a decent standard of living. It is no longer enough for Congress to simply talk about reform; it is time for action and leadership.

It sounds convincing and 27 senators signed on to the effort to tackle the government’s skyrocketing debt problem. But that was last week, which was so long ago.

Yesterday, the Senate passed a massive $1.1 trillion pork‐​filled spending bill. The bill funds most domestic agencies for the rest of the current fiscal year, and includes an average 10‐​percent spending increase for the activities funded.

Voting for a 10‐​percent increase in the face of this year’s $1.5 trillion deficit is exactly the sort of extreme irresponsibility that supporters of the Conrad/​Gregg Task Force want to counteract, right?

Then why did the following nine senators co‐​sponsor the Task Force and then go ahead and vote in favor of the massive spending increase yesterday?

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)

Didn’t they think that their votes were recorded? And do they really expect us to believe that they are sincere in controlling the budget?