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Opinion

January 14, 2014

It’s all ‘off budget’

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

It’s a universal goal to strive to balance budgets responsibly. Since the beginning of the new century, we have encountered some serious problems. In order to pay for two wars and the new expired tax cuts, President Bush chose to place them “off budget.” During those years, no scrutiny or oversight was used to check questionable spending. No investigations have been made about allegations of no-bid contracts, shoddy work by contractors, suitcases full of hundred dollar bills, the zillions no one can account for — or even if monies were spent appropriately! Usual budget oversight seemed “off budget” and out of mind for the majority of Congress.

Now, in order to pay for the “off budget” debts, the current majority of Congress finds many excesses in “entitlements” which need to be tightened, preferably eliminated.

The minority in Congress can now declare those entitlements “off budget.” If further cuts are needed, then focus of “private welfare entitlements” such as earmarks, loopholes, tax breaks, the “Cayman Islands” thing, subsidies to newbie companies now mature and making zillions in profit so they won’t go hungry. Tax lawyers and math whizzes can ferret out other mysterious goodies and add those known only to Congress and it’s recipients.

The farm bill includes subsidies to agribusiness and rich absentee landlords when it’s goal was to protect family farms!

Congress also needs to scrutinize their own special entitlements and put them on the table. Not any of the beneficiaries of those entitlements listed would go hungry.

Since the beginning of this new century, the majority Congress has been a unique and paradoxical player. They could be the first in blowing the budget big time! Many of their congressmen and associates became convicted felons (for hanky panky). They also set the tone for wheeling and dealing, breaking rules and bullying. It was “either you’re for us or against us.”

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