(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "YOUR WORLD" ON AUGUST 27:)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You always keep dismissing it, saying, "You know, in the scheme of things, it's small. What are you arguing about? What are you moaning about?"
MARTIN FROST, FORMER TEXAS CONGRESSMAN: Neil, they ought to fix the problem at Social Security, and if Social Security has outdated computers, buy them some new computers.
CAVUTO: Congressman, they don't. We're going full throttle –- we're going full throttle with other stuff, never fixing the problems you address, whether it's sending out checks to corpses or convicts.
FROST: We ought to fix the problems, I agree with you about that.
CAVUTO: But we're not, congressman!
FROST: I wouldn't obsess over this.
CAVUTO: Wasting taxpayer money is never small on my list.
FROST: This is a small number of clerical mistakes. Fix the problem —
CAVUTO: Congressman, this is outrageous. Yesterday when it was 1,700 it was small. Today when it's 4,000 it was small. The first reports of corpses getting checks at 1,000 it was small. Then it was 10,000. At what level do you wake up, congressman, and say, "You know what? Now it's no longer small."
FROST: Fix the problem. That's the answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
That little exchange triggered quite a few e-mails. Some saying it got nasty, maybe too nasty.
I don't too much disagree. But frankly, I don't care if the former congressman or others found my badgering disagreeable.
What he said struck me as even more disagreeable: Mistakes happen, Neil. Waste happens. Get over it. No big deal. No need to focus so much on more than 4,000 stimulus checks sent to prison inmates, and before that, 10,000 sent to dead people.
Offensive to me. But apparently offensive when I mention them to guests. Mr. Frost telling me I'm focusing on a tiny issue, and losing sight of the bigger issue, as if thousands of checks going out to the wrong people isn't an issue.
That, to me, is the issue. Dismissing millions of dollars in stupidity as if it were an annoying rounding error.
That's the error, my friends. Government has gotten so big, and we're spending so much, that we treat this stuff as if it's much ado about nothing.
And I'm the idiot for asking whether maybe it's something?
The good former congressman tells me we should fix it, but not fixate on it.
I think we should do both, and not spend another dime until we fix this problem where we keep losing so many dimes on so many programs.
And I'm annoying?
That's what's annoying. That's what's insulting. As is using Ted Kennedy's passing to pass on answering any of my questions. That's really insulting.
Because hear me out: If their goal is to build health care reform that includes everybody, as the senator wished, then shouldn't we make sure all the money is spent achieving that goal, as the senator dreamed?
Perhaps it insults some that I raise this issue on his passing, but this big government money pit issue isn't passing. It's growing, and it's growing all the more as our leaders dismiss it all the more.
Because that's the thing about a government that doesn't learn from mistakenly sending out money to the wrong people; it ends up sucking dry the right people, the good people who pick up the pretty good-sized bill, and are insulted for having the gall to question the items on that bill.
Me? I've had enough of it. And don't assume for a moment I'm going to stop being a thorn in the side of Washington, pounding it.
So be warned: I disagree, and on this issue I plan to be very disagreeable.
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