So much for the new spirit of fiscal discipline the Democrats promised to bring to Congress.
During last fall's campaigns, Democrats wailed on Republicans for sleazy spending tactics, such as attaching special interest earmarks to other bills and larding up the budget with gifts for the folks back home.
Democrats promised to end all that in January, when they returned to Washington as the masters of Congress. Thank goodness we didn't bet on that happening.
This week, the House passed a $100 billion spending bill to pay for the Iraq War. Attached to it are $10 billion in appropriations to fund domestic programs favored by the Democrats. The Democratic leadership is betting that President Bush won't risk the money needed to pay for the war by vetoing the bill, even though it adds another roll of fat to the federal budget. The added appropriations will pay for everything from children's insurance in select states to farm relief out West to levee improvements in New Orleans. Some projects may deserve federal support. But they should have been debated and passed on their own merits, not snuck into an essential war-funding bill.
This is exactly how the federal deficit grows to monstrous proportions.
It was wrong when the Republicans did it, and it is wrong now that the Democrats are doing it.
The Democrats promised to behave better. But politicians are what they are. Put them in front of a barrel of pork and they'll dive in headfirst.
Remember that the next time a political party climbs on a high horse and points fingers.
Reprinted from The Detroit News.