As Tax Day approaches, Americans can be proud to know that half-a-trillion of their hard-earned tax dollars are providing incomes for the mob, crooked doctors, overpriced contractors, incompetent bureaucrats, and — worst of all — Members of Congress.
And thanks to the political games of one of those Members, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV), we don’t have any way to follow the money.
Two years ago, Reid stopped the Taxpayers Right to Know Act from becoming law. This was a bill that passed both the U.S. House and a Senate committee with bipartisan support, and would have laid bare “a very…low-ball estimate” of $200 billion lost each year to redundant federal spending. (For a point of comparison, the White House has projected a $3.9 trillion budget in 2016, with a deficit of about $615 billion. The Congressional Budget Office says the deficit will be closer to $530 billion.)
Thanks to Reid, the legislation died quietly, just one of many no-brainer bills buried in the graveyard that is Congress. And now he’s at it again, according to the bill’s Senate sponsor:
“There are some no-brainer bills that they work through the House and they get held up in the Senate over some other Senate fight,” Senator James Lankford (R-OK) told The Stream in an interview about waste, fraud, abuse and duplication in the federal government. (More from that interview here.) He said that’s happening now with his Taxpayers Right to Know Act, one he described as a “transparency bill” that “goes after the duplication that every year we complain about.”
Lankford told me that Reid’s move “seems to be a focus on … having the Senate run as slow as possible and get the least amount done.”
So, as you go to pay your taxes in a couple of days — Tax Day is officially April 18 this year — be sure to send Senator Reid a note or a phone call thanking him for being a contributing factor to your income being flushed down the toilet.