Do you know what just pisses me off about our Congress in Washington?  For weeks we have had a total shutdown of the federal government all the while the two different sides pitch crap at each other.  Republicans complain about the mounting national debt, while the Democrats cry about the Affordable Care Act, and the Looney-tune Tea Party keeps spouting “Green Eggs and Ham.”

I would be the first person to say that we need to make major changes to bring down our national debt and also work on our issues in this country and I have said so repeatedly.  But, the first thing that we need to stop is this pork barrel mentality that says “let’s reduce our spending as long as it is not reduced in my state or voting district.”  I have said that our political system is broken and it is.  We, as a nation, will never reduce spending as long as we continue to attach more spending bills to every piece of legislation that comes out of Congress.

Case in point:

Here’s a little secret about the bill Congress has approved ending the partial government shutdown and preventing a possible federal default: It’s got goodies for some states and federal agencies too.

There’s language allowing more spending for upgrading a lock in the Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky at a cost of $ 2.9 billion; money to help Colorado rebuild roads washed away by last month’s catastrophic floods at a cost of $ 450 million; extra money to help the Veterans Affairs Department whittle down a backlog of disabilities claims at a cost of $ 294 million; and permission for the Pentagon to keep helping African nations hunt a notorious warlord.

The measure, approved Wednesday by the House and Senate, has one lump of coal for lawmakers: For the sixth consecutive year it would deny them the annual cost-of-living pay raise that by law they automatically receive unless they vote to block it.

The 35-page bill had only a handful of such narrowly aimed provisions.  Yes, this is less than some spending bills which are studded with hundreds of “earmarks,” or projects for specific states or congressional districts, often designed to ensure the votes of lawmakers.  But, I ask why Congress cannot pass bills designed specifically to create a solution to a problem or solve am impasse?

It also:

Provides an additional $100 million to prevent furloughs of air traffic controllers and safety inspectors, and extra money for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to      continue work on two weather satellites.

Lets the Defense Department continue assisting African forces pursue Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group accused of atrocities.

Provides extra money for contracts with private companies whose ships move American troops and their equipment overseas.

Supplies $600 million for Forest Service firefighting and $36 million for Interior Department firefighting.

So, this 35 page bill to keep the federal government open for business only cost US taxpayers a minimum of $ 4 billion, 380 million in additional spending.

Even I know that I cannot maintain my monthly household balance by going out and maxing out my credit cards or buying that 84 inch television…just because I want it.

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