Friday, December 18, 2009

This is what happens when you rush a vote

Here's a funny story that illustrates what happens when you rush through a vote without reading and proofreading the bill.
When he earmarked $100,000 in taxpayer spending to go to Jamestown's library, Rep. James E. Clyburn meant for it to go to the library in Jamestown, S.C., which is in his district.

But in the bustle to write and pass the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill, Congress ended up designating the money for Jamestown, Calif. - 2,700 miles away and a town that doesn't even have a library.

"That figures for government, doesn't it," said Chris Pipkin, who runs the one-room library in Jamestown, S.C., and earlier this year requested $50,000, not the $100,000 that Congress designated, to buy new computers and build shelves to hold the books strewn across the room.

The library is just one of more than 5,000 "earmarks," or pork-barrel spending projects, totaling $3.9 billion, tucked inside the report accompanying the catchall spending bill Congress sent to President Obama this week. Mr. Obama signed the $1.1 trillion bill Wednesday, violating his own pledge to allow the public five days to comment on bills before he signs them.
Typical government work, isn't it?


mahtso said...

"Typical government work, isn't it?" No, I don't think so. Typical of politics and how Congress operates? Yes.

Maybe your statement wasn't intended to be as broad as I read it. But just before I read this post, I read one at the Administrative Law Professor blog:
"Those of us who have seen the bureaucracy close up and personal know that almost all the working level folks (a) are just trying to do their jobs as they see them, (b) think their jobs and the missions of their departments are really important, (c) are as divided in their opinions on high level policies as the rest of us, and (d) are human beings with all the gifts and limitations that entails. But almost all of them, almost all the time, try to keep their own feelings from interfering with what they are told the law requires them to do."
That, to me, provides a better view of what is typical (of) government work.

Pat Patterson said...

Arbeit mach frei? Delivering a bad product on time does not suddenly make the federal employees immune from criticism.

tfhr said...

Pat Patterson,

I trust you will return that phrase to it's rightful owners.

Sick news:

LarryD said...

One of the characteristics of bureaucracy is it's inferior to the quality of the people in it.

David said...

Re government and bureaucracy: More than 30 years ago, Peter Drucker wrote that:

"Any government that is *not* a government of paper forms quickly turns into a mutual looting society."

I think this is a very astute comment. Because of the great powers of government, the actions of its agents *must* be constrained in a way that is not necessary or desirable for agents of private organizations.

The endless promises by politicians to make government more efficient and flexible..while greatly increasing its power..ignore this point.

Pat Patterson said...

I didn't even see that item till late last night. A bit more serious than stealing stop signs or park benchs. A little over the top!

tfhr said...

Pat Patterson,

Get ready for a plethora of fakes to appear on the market and in every conceivable, excessively sick Photo-Shopped image.

tfhr said...


That is why the left so dislikes The Constitution - it constrains government.

Locomotive Breath said...

I wouldn't be surprised if the Neo-Nazis stole that sign and destroyed it.

tfhr said...

Locomotive Breath,

I'm thinking of the same type of animal but I doubt they'd destroy it. There are still those in this world that find the message "inspiring".