REPORTS that the U.S. is $350 billion deeper in debt than it was last fall are nothing short of disgusting and shocking. . . . The much ballyhooed deficit-reduction plan designed last fall by the Bush administration and Congress was supposed to lop $492 billion from anticipated federal deficits over the next five years.
Making this development even more galling is the fact that rank-and-file Americans are sacrificing more than ever to stem the tide of red ink -- right at a time when their congressman's annual salary skyrockets from $96,000 to $120,000. Among other things, Americans now pay a higher income tax, 5 cents a gallon more for motor fuels, and increased taxes on the purchase of luxury items.
Meanwhile, the overpaid spendthrifts in Washington not only continue their display of fiscal irresponsibility, but do so at a record clip. . . . And, like it or not, the rising cost of the Persian Gulf crisis stands to greatly exacerbate the spending glut -- even more reason, incidentally, why Congress should have been sharpening its pencil at budget time last fall, after the crisis erupted in August.
Instead, the government's penchant for wastefulness received the blessings of Congress for yet another year -- contrary to the impression created by most, if not all, of its members.