Porkbusting, IV

So it has now been roughly four weeks since I contacted both Sen. DeWine, Sen. Voinovich, and Congresswoman Kaptur regarding the need for fiscal responsibility. I got an automatic response back from DeWine within about two days, saying he appreciated my input and that he'd like some time to look into my questions before responding.

Late this afternoon I received an e-mail back from his office which was cordial but didn't really answer the specific points I addressed. I had mentioned specific pork in my district, and asked:

If you do not agree that these programs are less important than either our obligation to those affected by Hurricane Katrina OR our budget deficit, then perhaps you could suggest another program which could be delayed or cancelled to help accommodate relief and rebuilding efforts.

In our church, we have no obligation to pass a balanced budget for the year (though we try). We also have no legal obligation to spend less than we receive in offering in a given year. However, when we see that there will be a shortfall, in our church as in our homes, we delay spending on items which are not necessary. It is frustrating beyond words that a majority of our elected representatives can not agree to do the same. Please consider what action you would be willing to take to reduce the looming increase in the deficit.

I don't know what is more frustrating: that in thirty days only one of my representatives has bothered to respond at all, or that it took him thirty days to completely avoid answering the question. The text of the response he sent is reprinted below in total (emphasis is mine):
Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns with the costs of the relief efforts in the Gulf states following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I appreciate knowing your views on this issue.

As you know, the combined force of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in one of the largest national disasters in our Nation. I am committed to providing the full amount necessary for a comprehensive recovery effort that meets the short- and long-term needs of the Gulf region and its residents. I agree that as stewards of your taxpayer dollars, Congress must take steps to manage relief funding efforts in a fiscally responsible manner. I also feel that it is important that we have a team of inspectors general to evaluate all funding provided for the relief effort to make sure that the money is spent wisely and efficiently.

In addition, I am extremely proud of the National Guard troops, government workers, Red Cross volunteers, and citizens who have generously provided their assistance in the rescue and recovery efforts. I commend their efforts and keep all of the victims and their families in my thoughts and prayers.

Again, thank you for contacting me. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me anytime.

The thing is while he believes "Congress must takes steps to manage relief funding efforts in a fiscally responsible manner", he didn't say what sort of steps he would endorse. He said only that there should be a watchdog group "to make sure that the money is spent wisely and efficiently". Only an idiot would disagree with that. The man took 30 days to completely ignore the specifics of my request. Why would I expect anything better?

Update: To give DeWine the benefit of the doubt, he did vote in favor of Sen. Coburn's Amendment No. 2165 to kill the bridge.
  • Jon Henke writes that one problem with our system is that it rewards tax cuts and spending.

  • John Hinderaker covers the defeat (82-15) of Senator Coburn's attempt to kill the Bridge to Nowhere (Ketchikan, Alaska).
My other posts on this topic are here, here, and here.