The other white meat

I like pork. Bacon, country ham,sausage, mmmmmm. But I don't like political pork.

The other day I wrote about my indecision about the $700 billion dollar bailout bill that initially didn't pass the congress. Now that I've seen the "revamped" version that has come through the senate, my opinion is a little less uncertain.

The initial bill should have been a few pages long. Now it's 451 pages packed with $1.7 billion in tax breaks for things that are obviously important to our country:

* Manufacturers of kids' wooden arrows - $6 million

* Puerto Rican and Virgin Is- lands rum producers - $192 million

* Wool research

* Auto-racing tracks - $128 million

* Corporations operating in American Samoa - $33 million

* Small- to medium-budget film and television productions - $10 million

You can read about some of the other 'critical' additions in the article I linked. What do these have to do about the financial crisis? As I heard a congressman quoted on the news earlier today, "Nothing!"

I know that nobody from Washington reads my blog (at least not in D.C. but maybe there is somebody in Washington, NC) but if they did here's what I would tell them: It's time to trim the fat, literally. Barney Franks (D-Mass) made the comment that all of these extra piggy earmarks could be dealt with and even deleted next week but we need to pass this bill now. Hey Barnie, why not take them out now? Better yet, why have them in there in the first place?

The members of congress have been inundated with requests from their constituents NOT to pass this measure and for good reason. When our representatives load up bills with all this extra special interest junk, they lose the trust of the people they represent.

I realize that again, I may be too simplistic about my understanding of politics and economics, but I know a fat pig when I see one. And this pig stinks.

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