Thank you for returning to Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier, we break it down. Did you ever want to know what is in a spending bill that Congress wants to pass, especially if it’s a mega long one? I hope today’s entry will be an eye-opener into the little things tucked inside of spending bills. I know I’m re-thinking how I vote for congressional candidates. On the brighter side, our second article in the weekly newsletter talks about Americans exercising their freedoms and loving it. We need a little encouragement every now and then. Grab a coffee and spend a few minutes here catching up on civics and citizenship issues. Then, if you like what you read and are so inclined, please encourage a friend by passing on this newsletter or the web address, which is www.civicsandcitizenship.org
Let’s begin with “What’s In That Bill?”
Congress spends money they get from our taxes. They don’t sell a product to make the money they spend. It’s our money they use to buy things. I want to know what legislators are wanting to purchase with our money. I’d specifically like to know more about what’s in the $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” spending bill to see what is on the congressional shopping list. So, I set out on a mission to find a list of proposed expenditures. I have spent roughly 45 minutes researching and still don’t have a list of all the things Congress wants to buy.
News outlets pick a “pet” project and report on that, or select an outrageous proposal as a topic. Seems to me that if I am to make purchases, the logical thing to do is make a list, determine how much those items cost, and how much I can afford to spend. One would think citizens could do a search and find a simple list of items in a spending bill. After all, it’s our money.
Many times, what Congress wants to buy and what I want them to buy are two different things. There are three proposed expenses I heard about that caught my attention. So, I did some research to learn more. Here they are:
Tree Equity- Wait. What is “tree equity?” It’s the idea that certain specific locations should have more trees because this would provide advantages to the health and economy of those neighborhoods. It also would help the climate. Please note that the U.S. Constitution does not provide for the specific welfare of groups or individuals. “We the People,” as the Preamble states, promote “the general welfare” of all of us.
Print Journalist Tax Break- Local newspapers would receive a tax credit for up to half of a journalist’s salary the first year, and a lower percentage in subsequent years. As I understand it, taxpayers, would be indirectly financing a portion of journalists’ salary. Help a friend out here. Does this seem like it might affect accurate news reporting in a big way? Wouldn’t we risk having government regulated news? (As I asked last week, anyone remember the Tass news agency or Pravda)?
Civilian Climate Corps- This initiative would employ young people to do various climate related projects across America. In theory, this sounds good, but specifically, what projects? And, have you observed the way young people treat their elders if their masque (misspelling intentional) slips, is lop-sided, or moves a 1/2 inch while they talk? The young person assumes the persona of your high school disciplinary/detentions officer, speaks shockingly rude, and demands compliance. I saw this in action and have obtained the name of the district manager for the store. Other people have reported the same conduct to me. So, I’m all for young people helping their country. I am not in favor of spending tax dollars that may have unintended consequences, like turning corps into climate cops.
How about championing simple bills that taxpayers could read in advance? No more 2,500 pages to comb through. Let a bill mean what it says and says what it means. That’s what I think our Founders intended, so that American citizens could be active, not passive participants in the process.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸