Budget Battles - Feb. 7, 2002

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Thursday, February 07, 2002

Budget Battles - Feb. 7, 2002

The Bush budget has been sent to Congress and the usual battles will soon begin between those who think the priorities are wrong and those who don't. Is it too much, or too little?

The budget is politics in its purest (or most sordid) form. Every member of Congress wants something for him or herself to help maintain a career position in Washington. Few will argue with defense or homeland security. Spending is up substantially for these, as it is for the Justice Department and the National Institutes of Health. But discretionary spending is down in some categories and you can be sure that members will want to protect their pork.

There will be plenty of waste, fraud and abuse. There always is. It continues to mystify me why the administration won't make this axis of spending evil a priority. The public can identify with waste, fraud and abuse and, properly handled, a lot of it could be eliminated.

So watch those budget fights. Every attempt to eliminate a dime will supposedly cause the collapse of civilization. That's what they'll tell us.

I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.