Evan Bayh has been getting a lot of positive ink for his Wall Street Journal piece in which he "says no to the huge federal spending bill." Imagine that, a fiscally responsible Democrat!
The omnibus debate is not merely a battle over last year's unfinished business, but the first indication of how we will shape our fiscal future. Spending should be held in check before taxes are raised, even on the wealthy. Most people are willing to do their duty by paying taxes, but they want to know that their money is going toward important priorities and won't be wasted.
All well and good, and most of what he says in the column can be embraced by budget hawks. And yet, and yet . . . If what is being reported elsewhere is true, that bill contains earmarks for Indiana requested by Bayh, and others that were requested by some Republicans who will also vote against the measure, such as Send. Richard Lugar and 3rd Disgtrict Rep. Mark Souder. And this bill is likely to pass, with those earmarks included. So these politicians get to take credit for bringing home the goodies to the state, and they'll be able to say "I voted against this excessive spending." Nifty trick. Thus does government grow.