Had a short discussion with a friend yesterday who suggested that the $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Bill that just passed congress was essential to prohibit the government from shutting down. Considering my own conservative values on Limited Government and Fiscal Responsibility, I nearly choked on my diet soda.
My first thought was how, until the last 20 or so years, omnibus spending bills were almost never used. There was a Defense Spending bill, a Department of Justice Spending bill, and many others… A representative could vote YES on one bill, and NO on another bill, making their values very obvious. Bills were much easier to understand.
But since 2012, massive omnibus spending bills have become common. Each year, the bill is larger and more impossible for reps to read before they vote on the entire bill. This year, the bill (officially named Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023) was over 4,100 pages long, and reps only had about 3 days to read it, digest it, and react to it… OR, close the government.
In the text of the bill, I ran a search to see how many times ‘$’ appeared, and found over 3,900 entries. That is, 3,900 times the value of your money is mentioned in the bill to be spent on something. So, it would be impossible for me to describe in this article all of the spending called for in this $1.7 Trillion bill. Please take a moment (or a week) and scan the bill to see for yourself where your money is being spent.
As an example where the amount spent is questionable, you need look no further than Title I (the beginning of the bill). Title I discusses only the Department of Agriculture… Page 10, line 19, discusses the Office of The Chief Information Officer for the department (not for the entire government). This one guy gets $92,284,000… Of that amount, $77,428,000 is for cybersecurity requirements of only the Department of Agriculture!!!
Now, imagine a private company, the largest you can think of… Do you imagine in any universe that a single department would be responsible for its own cybersecurity and to the tune of over $77 million for just one department? That company would go bankrupt very quickly.
A search of the bill for the term “cybersecurity” found 52 entries… Does each department have a budget that size to spend on cybersecurity? Another example, the Department of Commerce gets over $25 million for cybersecurity…
In the interest of Limited Government and Fiscal Responsibility, why doesn’t our government reorganize their Information Technology into a single department? The budget savings is pretty obvious, but the streamlining of government computer systems would be an added benefit.
“We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”Ronald Reagan – 1982
What are your thoughts? Is this bill in keeping with Limited Government and Fiscal Responsibility? Let me know what you think by adding a Reply below.