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Mark Levy
Dear Mark
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Omnibus and Beethoven, DC Wealth and Congressional Disapproval

Comment

Dear Mark: I don't see what all the fuss is about concerning the omnibus spending package that Harry Reid and the Democrats are proposing in the Senate. The government needs money to keep running each year, and voting on a budget is part of that process. What's the difference between an omnibus bill and a regular spending bill? — Fund the Funds in Phoenix

Dear Fund: Omnibus comes from the Latin word "omnis" meaning all and the word "bus" meaning a very large vehicle that can hold a lot of crap. That perfectly describes this 1,900 page, $1.1 trillion dollar monstrosity that also contains over 6,000 earmarks.

An omnibus spending bill sets the budget of all the departments with one major vote. Normally, each congressional subcommittee's budget is voted on separately, which allows for in-depth discussions about where and why the money is being appropriated. Omnibus packages historically are full of waste, cronyism and pet projects, and promote quid pro quo voting by members of each party.

The major problem with this bill is the fact it was snuck in at the last minute to intentionally limit discussion and possibly garner the votes of impatient senators who are ready to go home for the Christmas recess. It also shows how tone deaf Reid and his fellow libs are to the message voters sent in November. Heck, Beethoven could hear better than these rapscallions.

Reid described the bill as "a very good piece of legislation." My question is if the legislation is so good, why didn't he propose it before the November elections when Congress should have voted on the 2011 budget? I believe Reid was afraid of being locked into a tough vote and possibly losing his re-election bid.

Dear Mark: The Census data released this past Tuesday showed that the Washington, D.C., area is the wealthiest and most educated part of the country. Doesn't' that just figure with all the lawyers in D.C.? — Living the High Life in Helena

Dear Living: From an objective standpoint, I'm sure all of the law degrees played an integral part in both the educational and income figures surrounding Washington. Unfortunately, the census was not able to measure the level of common sense inside the Beltway.

An article in The Washington Post did not mention whether Congress was in session when this particular census data was gathered. My theory is that when Congress is in session, the educational level of the Washington area goes down while the income level goes up. The opposite is probably true when Congress is out of town.

Dear Mark: This lame duck session is driving me nuts. It seems as if Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are trying to cram every piece of legislation they can down our throats before they lose power in January. Doesn't that seem a little tawdry? — Donald Duck, Not Lame Duck

Dear Donald: Of course it's tawdry, which has been par for the course for this Congress the past two years. At least you are not alone — today's lame-duck Congress has the lowest approval rating in Gallup's history. The Gallup poll taken Dec. 10-12, showed only 13 percent of Americans approved of the way Congress is handling its job. Congress also achieved an 83 percent disapproval rating.

The good news for Reid and Pelosi is that, through their leadership, Congress once again polled better than food poisoning and pulled within the margin of error of jock itch.

Dear Mark is a public platform for your enrichment and entertainment. E-mail your questions to marklevy92@aol.com. To find out more about Mark Levy, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

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