fort wayne right Weblog



Posted by zeakster on March 12, 2009

March 12, 2009 Dear Friend, You recently contacted me to voice your concerns about fiscal irresponsibility in Washington, D.C. I am writing you today to let you know that I have heard your concerns—and I share them. Last September, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, our nation’s top economic expert, told congressional leaders that if swift action was not taken to stabilize the banking system, millions of Americans would lose their jobs, life savings, and businesses. However, following the first release of federal funding for the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (known as “TARP”), we saw many reported abuses by major financial institutions and a lack of transparency and accountability for how taxpayer dollars were being spent. As a result, I opposed the second round of funding for the TARP program. The need for greater fiscal responsibility in Washington extends beyond the debate over how to unfreeze the credit markets. The Senate recently considered a $410 billion “omnibus” spending bill to fund the operations of the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year. I opposed this legislation because it called for substantial increases across an array of federal programs—more than twice the rate of inflation. If the federal government held spending steady, taxpayers would save an estimated $250 billion over the next 10 years. That is the right course of action. The omnibus contained nearly eight billion dollars in pork-barrel projects, commonly known as earmarks. I voted to strip out every earmark from the bill. When that effort failed, I urged President Obama to veto the legislation. Last week, I wrote an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal arguing for a return to fiscal sanity in the nation’s capital. (To read, click here.) I wrote the article to send a message to Washington that runaway federal spending is the wrong prescription for America’s economy in a deepening recession. As you can imagine, my vocal stance against earmarks and spending increases was not popular with many of my Senate colleagues, but I don’t work for them—I work for you. In these difficult times, I value your opinions and input more than ever. Washington needs a healthy dose of Hoosier frugality. Please keep your letters and emails coming. Together, we will weather this storm and get our economy moving again. Sincerely, Evan Bayh United States Senator

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