NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 28, 2006

The line-item veto alone will not end the spending spree in Washington. Only restoring a culture of fiscal responsibility will do that, says Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)

The idea, he says, was worth fighting for in 2004, it's even more worth fighting for today because pork barrel spending has gone through the roof:

  • Last year, Congress tucked 14,000 earmarks costing more than $27 billion into must-pass spending bills.
  • These pet projects weren't debated, and billions of taxpayer dollars were wasted on such things as research on the flavor of roasted peanuts and the infamous "bridge to nowhere."

If the president uses the line-item veto, it will create an accountability moment, explains Kerry. If indefensible spending has to be explained in the light of day, legislators will think twice before wasting Americans' money.

Congress should pass the line-item veto, and then make sure that a president who has never once vetoed anything starts getting tough on the incomprehensible waste coming out of this Congress, says Kerry.

Source: John Kerry, "Letter to the Editor," USA Today, March 28, 2006.


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