The folks at CBS News sure are worried about government spending all of a sudden.
After Evening News anchor Scott Pelley grieved Wednesday for how much it's cost to have all these House votes concerning ObamaCare, Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer pointed a similarly dismayed finger at House Republicans Sunday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BOB SCHIEFFER: There was once this guy who loved to talk about guns. And when he couldn't figure out any other way to work guns into the conversation, he would just say, "I think I heard a gunshot." Speaking of guns and off he'd go talking about his favorite subject, which brings me to Congress where House Republicans did their favorite thing last week, virtually their only thing, of late. For the thirty-third time they voted to repeal all or part of the health care law, knowing that the action was totingly-- totally meaningless because the Senate would never go along.
Now, mind you, this is no endorsement of the new health care law. We need health care reform but I am a long way from believing the President's plan is the best way to go about it. My beef is that Congress cannot seem to figure out how to do anything, but vote on this one issue over and over time after time day after day.
Hey, guys, we hear you, we take your point. But the way I heard it, government is there to improve the lives of citizens. You seem to believe all this repetitious blather will help you raise campaign money, maybe so, but it is hard for me to see how it helps anyone else.
The best estimates are that Congress has wasted a total of two full work weeks--eighty hours--voting on this one thing. According to the Congressional Research Service, it costs us millions of dollars a week to operate the House of Representatives, the staff salaries, the mail services, cafeterias, all of that, and we're not even including paying the capitol cops. So you do the numbers. Do you think we're getting our money's worth when Congress spends two weeks voting on the same thing over and over again? I think they can do better.
As a fiscal conservative, I certainly am pleased to see Schieffer suddenly concerned with federal expenditures.
However, given the new price tag the Congressional Budget Office puts on ObamaCare - $1.8 trillion in the next ten years - his concerns seem to miss the forest for the trees.
Or maybe Schieffer doesn't think it's good budgeting to spend millions today to save trillions tomorrow.
I doubt he'd feel that way if it was exclusively his money on the line.
Funny how that works.