Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Philippa Jeffery
December 13, 2001(202) 467-5300


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Since coming to power six months ago as Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) has done little more than play to his party's special interests.  The farm lobby, labor unions, teachers' union, and the environmentalists have all recently gotten big Christmas presents from the Daschle Democrats, while pressing national business has gone unaddressed.  Worse, Daschle has let spending zoom out of control even while he hammers the White House for — gasp! — cutting taxes during a recession.  For playing politics to the hilt and not saying a single word — even during war-time — about reprioritizing congressional pork and waste, CAGW gives Sen. Tom Daschle its Porker of the Month for December 2001.

While the House of Representatives has recently adopted an energy bill, an economic stimulus package, and fast-track trade authority, the ONLY recent accomplishment of the Daschle-controlled Senate is a pay raise for itself.  Other pressing items given priority by Daschle: a shockingly bloated — even by Washington's standards — $170 billion farm bill that will increase agriculture subsidies 65 percent over current levels, and a $15.6 billion handout to the railroad workers' pension.

Further, Daschle has let Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) run wild on spending.  No effort has been made to trim the extravagant pork-barrel projects — estimated around $20 billion this year — inserted into appropriations before and after Sept. 11, despite obviously altered national priorities.  Instead, Daschle has worked tirelessly to add to post-Sept. 11 spending.  Within weeks of coming to agreement with President Bush to add $20 billion to the budget for an increased, $686 billion total for fiscal 2002, Daschle endorsed Byrd's attempt to add another $15 billion to the package.  

If Daschle's spending policies seem designed to throw government into deficits, his "stimulus" package seems designed to keep the economy in stagnation.  (Both of which, no doubt, his party will attempt to blame on Bush.)  The lion's share of his stimulus proposal is a demand-side redistribution of wealth in one-time payouts, short-term rebates, and social welfare spending.  If government spending was stimulative, West Virginia and Japan would have the world's leading economies.  The Daschle Democrats are ignoring the most direct engines of new economic growth such as cutting marginal tax rates and capital gains taxes, expanding free trade, and abolishing onerous regulations.

If he needs further guidance, maybe Daschle should get away from the Beltway's tax-and-spend swamp to see what his home state of South Dakota is doing.  Due to projected budget shortfalls, that state is actually considering cutting spending to balance the budget.  Wow, what a concept!  

In corporations, nonprofit organizations, and state governments, Americans are tightening their belts.  Somebody tell the Daschle Democrats.

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in government.  For more information, see CAGW's web site at


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