Running Up the Taxpayers' Tab in Washington. A New Website Counts the Costs
At a conservative Web activist happy hour yesterday, I learned about a new Web site that's a great resource for press and public alike, although I doubt many in the liberal media will catch on quickly, if at all.
WashingtonWatch.com is a Web site "maintained by Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, in his spare time, as a public service." Harper puts a dollar figure on the bright (or frankly mostly not-so-bright) ideas that Congress toys with day in and day out.
Here's but a sample from today:
Making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes
Costs $5,868.73 per family
The Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007 (3 comments »)
Costs $24.98 per family
To direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a standard regulating worker exposure to diacetyl
Costs $0.01 per family
You can sort the information by greatest cost, greatest savings, most popular, or as shown above, the newest pieces of legislation snaking through Congress. You can also cast votes and leave comments on whether you think a particular piece of legislation is a wise idea, etc.
One additional caveat by Harper that bears repeating:
Not all items tracked on WashingtonWatch.com will be passed into law, and not all legislation and regulation is tracked on WashingtonWatch.com. Adding up all the proposals tracked by WashingtonWatch.com would produce a number that is essentially meaningless.
Many of these ideas will not see life past the committee room floor, but they are still instructive as to the spendthrift mentality of our elected representatives on the Hill.