Last night, while most Americans were watching the Olympics, Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) was standing strong for the American people on the floor of the United States Senate. Oh, it won’t be portrayed as such - believe me. But when no other Senator, including anyone in Republican leadership, would stand up, Senator Bunning took to the floor to object to a unanimous consent request to call up and pass the House-passed extension of a number of expiring so-called “stimulus” and other benefit programs, because Bunning dared to ask the simple question of how these extensions would be paid for.Gee, when did we start worrying about how to pay for things? Isn't that what China is for?
Some personal information just so nobody thinks that I am blowing the very real and very serious problem of unemployment off. For the last ten plus years I have worked for a credit union whose membership is open only to labor union members and their families. We are seeing nearly as many unemployment checks as paychecks and there is no end in sight. I see the effects of unemployment every single day. These are people that I have come to care very deeply about and I know exactly how difficult these times are for them. And this is why the words of Sen. Jay Rockefeller make me angry:
“It is simply unfair for one senator to attempt to hold the Senate hostage on this issue,” Durbin said. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) told POLITICO that it’s “just awful,” and that Bunning’s objection could turn off televisions for millions of households with satellite dishes, since the package has provisions dealing with that issue.“You’ve got to be pretty mad about something to stop that,” Rockefeller said of Bunning. (emphasis added)What, pray tell, does the ability to watch TV have to do with unemployment? Unemployment is a serious issue, watching TV isn't. Why are these two things tied together? That is the problem with Washington. Our Congressmen come up with a bill to deal with a specific subject and then load the bill up with nonsense so that if you object to the nonsense it affects the specific issue the bill was created to address.
Sen. Bunning is a champion for standing up against the "pass it and the taxpayers will pay for it" attitude that permeates Washington. Millions of American families are making choices and setting priorities for the family budget. Should a family choose to pay for cable TV over buying groceries? Of course not. That would be irresponsible. It is no less irresponsible for the federal government to expect taxpayers to pony for their little pet projects.
Sen. Bunning is asking a very simple question, "how are we going to pay for it?". I would add to that, "what are we paying for?".
Our government needs to take a lesson from our families and start setting some priorities.