Runaway Federal Spending - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Runaway Federal Spending

Recently, the Regal Entertainment Group decided to remove violent or obscene video games from the lobbies of their movie theatres.


It was not because the CEO decided to do this on his own initiative, driven solely by his own conscience and concern for the well-being of the good of society.


When the CEO was asked about the decision, he attributed it to complaints that the theatre chain had received from parents.

A constant message that I have delivered over my four decades plus of involvement in public life is that people have the power to make the politicians take notice of their concerns. That, as in this case, applies to corporations too.

In this era of entertainment, too many Americans, including conservatives, have become complacent, believing that someone else will be speaking up so why should they?

Indeed, radio talk show hosts such as Bob Dornan, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh regularly inform millions of American listeners about issues from a conservative perspective. News outlets such as and deliver a conservative message right to your home even if your local newspaper’s editorial page leans left.

Now that we have entered the era of the Internet, the capability of grassroots activists to distribute their message and to find and communicate with like-minded followers has only increased.

We are more fortunate than ever to have our own communications mediums to counter the bias of the establishment industry and the news media.

But unless you take what you learn from good, conservative sources, and take action yourself, the message will die. If the message is not picked up by conservatives outside the Beltway and carried on through phone calls and letters and even knocking on doors and distributing literature, then it will simply not penetrate the consciousness of Congress or the wayward corporation, much less to say the public at-large.

There is no better time than now for conservatives, particularly at the grassroots level, to start thinking about how to bring their issues to the attention of the politicians in Washington and in their own state. After all, an election is approaching. Politicians will be watching what their constituents say and do very carefully. And, if they feel enough heat, they will respond.

But it takes activists at the local level to make them feel that burning sensation.

Conservative activists did that in 1994 when the combination of grassroots action, the Internet and talk radio drove the stake into the Clinton health care plan.

California’s recall is a more current example. Half the signatures came through genuine volunteers who downloaded the forms from the Internet. Thousands more signed up via the recall website. The fact that this election took place is an excellent example of citizen action.

Time and again, conservatives have been able to cross the finish line first because we had not only the facts on our side, but also because we worked hard and spoke up. This coming year should be no different.

Right now, conservatives are very concerned that even though we ostensibly control both the Congress and the Executive Branch, the rate of growth in discretionary domestic spending is what would be expected to occur if the situation were exactly the opposite and the liberals were in power.

With all the waste, duplication, and fraud within the Federal Government, discretionary domestic spending just climbs and climbs.

Fortunately, Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) are two conscientious legislators who know this runaway spending — left unchecked — is just sticking our nation’s young people with a big IOU that they will end up paying.

Their bill would create a Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies (CARFA), comprised of twelve members that would be charged specifically with exposing those agencies and departments and programs whose work is duplicative, wasteful, inefficient, or outdated. Then, the members would compile a report containing a list of recommendations for reforming the structure of the Federal Government and the operations of its departments, agencies, and programs, submit it to Congress, and an up or down vote would be taken by both houses without amendments.

In short, the Congress would be voting “up or down” to continue or to stop wasteful spending.

Remember: if there is a will and a bill then there is a way.

Thanks to Senator Brownback and Representative Tiahrt, we have one of the necessary ingredients. Now, we need to find the will to bring this legislation to the consciousness of decision-makers.

One thing that you can do is to make sure that your Congressman and Senators know about new ideas to brake government spending.

Also, be sure to let your state legislators who are concerned about stopping wasteful spending at the Federal level know about the Brownback-Tiahrt CARFA bill. Resolutions passed at the state level about this measure would be helpful in raising awareness about a powerful idea to stop runaway government spending. And there’s no reason why your state government cannot have its own CARFA-style commission to root out waste and duplication too.

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