Your Government, Hard at Work

Taking a break from their no-doubt impressive if futile efforts to find the appropriately pragmatic size of government to save us from the economy, ourselves, and everything in between, a Congress now has a new bill to consider: legislation which will require camera phones to make an audible sound as they take a picture.  The congressman who introduced the bill claims that it will be valuable in helping children in locker rooms avoid peeping toms.  Fortunately, it has received little attention to date.

What has been getting attention is the next “stimulus” bill, which is a the Thanksgiving feast of gravy trains for, well, just about everyone:

There’s $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There’s even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

Perhaps the most unfortunate part of the situation is that, as the Wall Street Journal points out, it is highly probable that “this allegedly emergency spending will become a permanent addition to federal outlays.”  George W. was the first president to bring the federal budget to $3 trillion, but Obama may easily hit $4 trillion even more quickly.

Update: The “stimulus” passed, with no GOP support.

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