Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher once quipped, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
While the United States isn’t a socialist nation, not yet at least, it’s still probably true that there is nothing politicians love more than spending other people’s money. How else could the United States accumulate over $28 trillion in debt and counting?
On Thursday, Fox News reported exclusively that members of Congress “have asked for almost $6 billion in additional funding for local projects ahead of the upcoming federal budget.”
You might be wondering, what are these local funding projects? Surely it must be something important, like paving new roads, hiring more law enforcement officers, buying new equipment to prepare for the fire season or something along those lines.
Fox News reports that some of the money that could be spent on local funding requests includes:
- $1,750,000 to spruce up the Japanese Garden in Portland.
- $436,100 for a “meditation and restorative yoga” program in New Jersey.
- $250,000 to expand the Michelle Obama Library in California.
- $2 million in funding for a new art collection at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.
- $2 million for a Pickleball and Fitness Circuit in Orange County, California.
- $1.5 million to provide free public Wi-Fi in a California city.
- $250,000 for a performing arts center.
Other additional requests include:
- $742,000 for a New York program that would feature “conversations around difficult issues such as racism, gender discrimination and cultural bias.”
- $166,000 for the development of an equity program at Lincoln University.
Part of the reason for this profligate spending is due to the return of earmarks, which the House of Representatives chose to reintroduce this year after they were done away with in 2011. Earmarks allow politicians to direct taxpayer money to specific recipients, usually organizations in the elected representative’s district.
So, what should Christians think about the return of earmarks? No matter whether one views them as beneficial or wasteful, Scripture warns about the consequences of too much debt. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
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