Congress and the president are at odds about how to stop the federal government’s spending addiction. The national unemployment rates hovers at 9.2 percent, and it is widely recognized that the $800 billion-plus federal economic stimulus program was a giant failure. However none of these realities has dissuaded Sen. Debbie Stabenow from proposing another $2 billion dollar federal program. According the MIRS news service, the senator from Michigan is touting a new bill aimed at promoting batteries.

Many politicians in Washington cannot break the habit of throwing taxpayer money at the alternative energy wall and hoping some of it will stick — the problem is, it seldom does. The first darling of the “pick winners and losers” congressional crowd was ethanol, followed by wind, solar and now batteries. The end result is taxpayers footing the bill to the tune of billions of dollars for the political class’s endless intervention into energy markets, sending the nation further into debt and increasing energy costs for consumers already challenged by a poor economy.

Sen. Stabenow claims that her proposed bill will not increase the national deficit because cuts will come from other areas, namely oil subsidies. However, the federal government must get its fiscal house in order by a massive cutting of expenditures, not by taking money from one pocket to put into another pocket. The days of pork barrel politics and wasting of taxpayer money must come to an end if the United States is to avoid financial Armageddon — a message some politicians in Washington seem to be slow to get.