In the paper today, Rep. Bill Sali really puts secular humanist and socialist Kevin Richert in his place in a guest editorial:
"During the last five months, I have had the honor of representing Idahoans in Congress. In those few short months, much to my chagrin, the 110th Congress has already approved some $60 billion in new spending and a contingent of new programs on which that money was spent, thus making big government even bigger.
As Idaho Statesman editorial writer Kevin Richert points out in his column from last week, yes, I have cast many "no" votes. Kevin says that's a bad thing. I respectfully disagree. I'm proud of every one of those no votes, because they are votes against bigger government, higher taxes and wasteful spending. I think the people of Idaho elected me precisely because I promised to vote that way when I got to Washington, D.C. I was not elected to vote with the new Democratic majority. I was not elected to vote unthinkingly with my party — or even my president. I was elected to Congress to cast votes that represent the views of Idaho's 1st Congressional District, not Nancy Pelosi's California 8th.
I was elected to Congress to do what's right, not what's easy. It would be easy to sit back and vote for the all the neat-sounding legislation that comes to us. But that's how bad legislation gets passed. Just slap a compelling name on it and dare congressmen to vote no. Who can vote against the Small Business Lending Improvements Act? Or the Sowing the Seeds Through Science and Engineering Research Act? Or the Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act?
You can if you read beyond the cutesy title. The Small Business Lending Improvements Act actually is a significant expansion of government. More than that, the bill calls on the Small Business Administration to pick the "winners and losers" in the private sector, providing grants based on arbitrary and pre-determined government quotas and not on real needs.
The Sowing the Seeds Through Science and Engineering Research Act sounds almost poetic. But did you know that it would increase federal spending by more than a billion dollars, would create three new government programs and would duplicate existing — and in some cases, not very effective — science and engineering programs?
And how about that Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act? We all abhor torture, right? I do. And that's why I don't want the United Nations to get the $12 million in the bill to help torture victims. The United Nations is the same organization that botched its oversight of the Oil for Food program at a cost of billions. The United Nations mismanages and squanders money consistently and on a huge scale and shouldn't be given more from American taxpayers. The issue for the United Nations is not more funding but its urgent need for financial integrity, transparency and efficiency.
The essential problem with our current Congress is its inability to say no. Unfortunately, this weakness apparently knows no party, as the Republican-controlled Congress exhibited the same problem at times. This federal government, with Congress at the wheel, keeps creating new government programs and spending billions of dollars to fund them. Then, after everyone has patted themselves on the back for creating those new programs, they lament that our federal deficit is too big and our taxes too high. Worse, in just a few short years, we will likely have an investigation to determine why these federal government programs are such abysmal failures. To correct the failures, Congress will likely then vote to expand the program that failed in the first place. Once expanded, Congress will have to vote to raise your taxes in order to subsidize the now expanded, yet failing, federal government program.
Clearly the federal government is broken and Americans really want to see it fixed. I intend to work to make those fixes happen. If you agree with me that Congress is broken and needs reform, please write to me by going to my Web site, www.sali.house.gov. Together, we can put our country, and our Congress, back on the right path."
Let's face it -- if it weren't for Representative Bill Sali standing up to Pelosi, who knows how many more hundreds of billions of dollars Congress would have spent. It's only fear of Congressman Bill Sali and his "no" votes that keeps Pelosi from doing even worse.