NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 5, 2013

The shutdown's real battle

Have to update last week’s column, in which I told you the national debt was $16,745,555,054, with my twin grandchildren owing $105,746.

A week later, the national debt is $16,959,161,700; the kids now owe $107,072.

Also, the Social Security liability is $16.6 trillion. The Medicare liability is $87.4 trillion. Someone just sent me an email: “We’re always hearing about how Social Security is going to run out of money. How come we never hear about welfare running out of money?”

Got another email, noting last-minute government spending as government agencies use up their budget or risk losing some of the next year’s appropriation. From the Washington Post: The Veterans Affairs Department spent more than a half-million dollars for artwork, the Coast Guard spent nearly $200,000 on “cubicle furniture rehab,” and the Agriculture Department spent $140,000 on toner cartridges in just one day.

Fox News reported that “federal agencies last week spent money on junkets for Chinese wine connoisseurs, Christmas tree initiatives, radio ads promoting New Jersey blueberries, a maple syrup recipe contest and produced a YouTube video to instruct on the proper handling of watermelons.”

I recall such activity from my years as a Navy wife. At the end of the fiscal year, the word went out: Spend! Build a tennis court, paint the offices, paint the flagpole! Or we’ll get our budget cut for next year!

You may correctly assume that this was the beginning of my taxpayer activism.

Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz reached out during a filibuster-like address to the nation, comparing the quixotic effort of tea party Republicans to stop ObamaCare to other historic resistance to Big Government. Now he’s said he’ll donate his salary to charity for each day that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, refuses to negotiate. This is a clever way to remind voters which party is insisting on the government shutdown instead of compromising with even a one-year delay of ObamaCare.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans