By Jonathan Weisman Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, November 24, 2003;
As Congress rushes to conclude its 2003 session, Republican
leaders are trying to garner votes for controversial legislation by loading the bills with billions of dollars in added costs
that analysts said would expand the budget deficit for years to come. The year-end binge has alarmed analysts in Washington
and on Wall Street, coming as it does after three years of presidential and congressional initiatives that have both substantially
boosted government spending and shrunk its tax base. ...
Congress nearly always engages in pork-barrel spending as it leaves town for the holidays, usually to feather
the nests of special interest groups responsible for the perpetuation of careers on Capitol Hill. But this year's end-of-session
binge has gone way beyond pork, saddling the country with long-term obligations of mammoth proportions and inviting censure
not only from the usual good-government types but also from economists who genuinely fear for the future of the economy. ...
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