Friday, December 21, 2012

This is why we can't have nice things

Congress is back to its old tricks in the $60 billion emergency bill for helping the nation recover from Sandy.
There's $150 million in there for Alaskan fisheries. We knew Sandy made it to the Midwest, but Alaska? Marine projects from New England to Mississippi also made the cut. Also along for the joyride is $8 million for new cars and other equipment for the Justice Department and Homeland Security, $2 million for roof repair at the Smithsonian in Washington, $4 million for the Kennedy Space Center, $3 million for oil-spill research and $348 million for the National Park Service.

Nearly $17 billion is in the bill for the Community Development Fund and social service grants, two long-running initiatives to fund liberal activists. Amtrak would get $188 million, including funds for two new train tunnels in New York unrelated to Sandy. Amtrak already got $1.4 billion last year. And of course some $600 million is directed to the Environmental Protection Agency to support climate change adaptation.
And of this supposed emergency bill, only about $9 billion of the $60 billion bill is for money to be spent in the next nine months. It's not an emergency bill and it's not for Sandy. Do we really need to bribe lawmakers with pork in order to pass aid for those who were hurt by Sandy? Of course not. But it was too good an opportunity to pass up. It was a crisis not to be wasted.

So don't believe that anyone in Congress who votes for this fakery is serious about reducing our federal debt. They'll keep voting their favored pork as long as they have votes left in their bodies.

This is why we can't have nice things like a stable fiscal future.