Last week, Congress passed a massive coronavirus spending and omnibus spending bill. President Trump threatened to veto the bill, saying he wanted the amount of “stimulus” checks authorized by the bill increased from $ 600 to $ 2,000. The controls are designed to help those harmed by lockouts. President Trump has also demanded a reduction in some of the unnecessary spending contained in the bill, such as the ten million dollars for gender programs in Pakistan.
At the 11th hour, however, President Trump signed the bill.
President Trump’s veto threat came after many complained that a one-time payment of $ 600 was insufficient and that the payment could be higher if Congress cuts spending on militarism, foreign aid and corporate donations.
The text of the 5,593-page bill was made available a few hours before votes in the House and Senate. Representatives and senators were told that the bill must pass immediately, otherwise the government would close its doors around Christmas time. This is no excuse for voting for the bill. Congress should have refused to vote for this bill until members had had time to read it. Those who voted “yes” should not just pretend that the bill had to be passed before members of Parliament could read it.
While it’s understandable that many are outraged by the way this bill has been rushed through, the real scandal is that rushing passage of omnibus bills has become an annual Christmas tradition on Capitol Hill. These spending bills are always full of outrageous special interest gifts. This practice deprives the average member of Congress of a meaningful role in the exercise of one of Congress’ two most important constitutional functions – government funding. Congress has long since abandoned its other primary constitutional responsibility – to declare war.
Whether it’s $ 600 or $ 2,000, a one-time stimulus payment is hardly adequate compensation for the suffering that government lockdowns have inflicted on the American people. Stimulus checks will not reopen closed small businesses or stop the increase in domestic violence and drug addiction. A government check will not restore education and development opportunities denied to children trapped at home struggling with “virtual education”. A spot check will not compensate workers for health problems developed as a result of wearing a mask eight hours a day. The only fair solution is to end lockdowns and never again let exaggerated fears justify shutting down the economy.
Funding the government through massive omnibus bills drafted in secrecy and rushed into law concentrates power in the hands of a few representatives and senators. It also gives the president undue influence over the credits process. This is the exact opposite of what the editors wanted by giving Congress the power over government spending.
This is the inevitable result of a government attempting to uphold the fiction that Republican institutions are compatible with a social war leviathan. Congress will continue to indulge in this illusion until the system collapses. This collapse will likely be caused by a collapse in the value of the dollar.
The combination of the high-profile coronavirus bill and this year’s omnibus bill has drawn new attention to Congress’ practice of funding the government through massive, unread appropriation bills. Hopefully the anger that people are expressing, instead of just going away once people get their checks, will strengthen the movement to return to free markets and limited constitutional government. Freedom is a much better option than descent into economic chaos and totalitarianism.
This article first appeared on RonPaulInstitute.org.
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