- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BANK AND BEER $

The money chase by political action committees continued its upward climb in 2007-2008, raising $1.2 billion, according to new figures from the Federal Election Commission.

That said, Inside the Beltway has obtained a pair of Top 10 lists identifying the country’s leading PACs during the last election cycle, starting with “receipts.” The wealthiest on the list is ActBlue, the nation’s largest source of funds for Democrats; followed by MoveOn.org; the Service Employees International Union Committee on Political Education; the pro-choice group Emily’s List; the Fred Thompson PAC, the actor and former Tennessee Republican senator’s PAC is valued at more than $24.5 million; the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees; the National Rifle Association of America Victory Fund; the National Association of Realtors PAC; the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Democrat Republican Independent Voter Education; and finally, the Service Employees International Union.

Meanwhile, PAC contributions to federal candidates during the last election cycle totaled $412.8 million, up 11 percent from 2005-2006. The No. 1 PAC on the list by “contributions to candidates” is the National Association of Realtors, followed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AT&T;, the National Beer Wholesalers, the National Automotive Dealers Association, the American Bankers Association, the International Association of Firefighters, the American Association for Justice, Honeywell International and finally, the National Association of Home Builders.

BUSY 100 DAYS

Why all the fuss over President Obama’s first 100 days in office, a milestone to be marked Wednesday?

Consider there are 1,360 days left in his presidential term - 2,820 “Obama days” remain should he get elected to a second term - which is certainly more than enough time to accomplish all this “change.”

Bottom line: Mr. Obama has been busy emulating President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office, which historians all agree built the foundation for FDR’s legacy. Like Mr. Obama, Roosevelt was confronted with the most severely depressed economy of his lifetime, a crumbled stock market and increasing unemployment.

Thus, like Roosevelt, Mr. Obama has in just three months’ time set out to reform banking and industry, through the use of the budget, the tax code and the federal regulatory apparatus.

If Mr. Obama’s drastic measures and policies prove successful, as did those implemented by the nation’s 32nd president, the economy will rebound. The president’s supporters insist they see light at the end of the tunnel, but conservatives and even socialists warn that his economic policies already show running off the rails. Stay tuned.

ABE SAID IT

Speaking of President Obama’s unprecedented spending habits, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah has just introduced the Limitation on Government Spending Act of 2009, which - as the name suggests - would cap the amount of government spending in relation to the nation’s gross domestic product.

All told, the Republican’s bill would limit federal spending to 20 percent of GDP.

In the meantime, the senator remains fearful that the Democratic president will continue to spend while “disregarding the future consequences.” That said, he sees fit to quote Mr. Obama’s political idol, Abraham Lincoln, who said, “You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.”

SPOOKED SPOOKS

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