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Letter: Congress blames the wrong people

As they fumble through so-called tax reform, the clarion cry of the members our Congress is “You should not have to send your hard-earned tax dollars to Washington to be spent foolishly by faceless bureaucrats!”

Guess what, that is truly fake news. Congress is the only branch of the U.S. government with the authority to raise money, levy taxes, and authorize expenditures. The United States budget is passed by Congress as a law. It is not a wish list for the executive branch; it is a law, which states what funds will be raised to support the government and authorizes what expenditures may be made.

The “foolish expenditures” by faceless bureaucrats are the expenditures that Congress has mandated by the appropriation law, and not bureaucrats filling out their wish list. Those bureaucrats cannot spend one cent for items not included in the law Congress passed.

That’s right. Surprise, surprise! The opportunities for foolish expenditures and wasted tax dollars are created by the Congress in the appropriations law.

So next time you hear a senator or representative questioning why money is being spent by bureaucrats for a poorly conceived or idiotic program, holler “fake news!” The expenditures are what Congress directed through the law they passed.

If they don’t know why funds are being spent for a particular program, it’s probably because they did not read the law appropriations law they are constitutionally responsible for, and which was written by lobbyist-influenced congressional staffers. Perhaps, if they worked more time in Washington with fewer recesses and spent more time doing their job, they might have time to read and understand the laws they pass.

— Richard Sorensen

Salisbu

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