A bipartisan Congress last week passed a continuation of the Bush tax cuts for two years and Pres. Barack Obama signed it with a smile on his face. That is great news.
The bad news, however, is that the new $1.2 trillion budget bill still contains 6,000 earmarks that will cost $8 billion. Apparently Congress hasnít learned yet that expending money for projects that benefit only one small part of the country is not part of its duty.
But come 2011 in just a few days, a new Congress will take over. And hopes are that things will change.
This upcoming Congress has pledged to do away with earmarks that use nationally collected dollars to pay for local projects. We must get the federal government to concentrate on things national and let our state and local governments take care of local matters which they can do better and at less expense. And we hope the new legislators on the hill will beat the drums for that reform.
With Republicans taking over the House in January, it is hopeful they will live up to the expectations of those who elected them to make federal government more effective by sticking to the reason why it exists. It is to protect the country it serves and provide a nation in which people can live in freedom to pursue their own objectives without interrupting those of others.