In just 12 days we'll have to "render unto Caesar" with our taxes. There are reports the IRS (search) will be especially watchful this year because the government needs more money to reduce the deficit.
I have an idea. Instead of government telling us how much of our money government will allow us to keep, let's start telling government how much of our money we will allow it to have and misspend until it can demonstrate more responsibility.
Citizens Against Government Waste will publish its annual "Pig Book" (search) next week. It's loaded with examples of how government wastes our money and how politicians — Republicans and Democrats — use our money to keep themselves in office.
Every American should get a copy of the "Pig Book" and respond to their elected over-spenders. Consider just a few of many examples.
Why must $100,000 of our tax dollars go to refurbish an old Coca Cola building in Macon, Ga.? Last I checked, things were going well with Coke. Why shouldn't they pay for it, themselves?
When we have a $521 billion deficit and a $7.1 trillion national debt, why is Congress playing Santa Claus by spending $200,000 for "recreational improvements" in North Pole, Alaska?
Nearly $10 billion in pork is going to projects in Iowa, home of Democratic Senator and Agriculture Subcommittee appropriator Tom Harkin, and House Republican Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Tom Latham.
Included is $293,000 for hoop barns and $270,000 for livestock waste. What about congressional waste?
One of my personal favorites is $2 million for the First Tee program in St. Augustine, Fla. According to the group's Web site, "First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation. The focus is to give young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop through golf and character education, life enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship."
Call me silly, but my Dad used to take me golfing and instilled those character traits in me without any cost to the government.
Defense and Homeland Security are attracting new pork projects that have nothing to do with fighting terrorists at home or abroad. Included is $1 million added by the Republican House for the Young Patriots Program.
According to the Defense Appropriations Conference Report, this money will help to "expand the Young Patriots Program to include a video, which promotes the significance of National Patriotic Holidays." When the federal government is involved, it's always about expansion, never reduction.
The taxpayers should not be paying for any of this. But as long as we have an entitlement mentality, the bipartisan spending will continue. Term limits is part of the answer. Voter outrage is the rest of the answer. Look up the Citizens Against Government Waste Web page and be outraged.
Then, DO something about it.
And that's Column One for this week.
What do you think? Send your responses to: email@example.com.
Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America". Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.