wasting bandwidth since 1999

Pigging Out

More evidence that the folks who are supposed to "represent" us in Congress are addicted to pork! A bill currently making it’s way through the legislative process was supposed to simply repeal an illegal export subsidy and replace it with a few tax breaks for the industry affected. Along the way, the measure has been larded down with enough corporate welfare to make it "one of the most complex, special-interest-riddled corporate tax bills in years". One of the lobbyists that contributed to this mess even admits that this measure "has risen to a new level of sleaze".

Among other things, the bill has tax cuts or subsidies for cruise ship operators, horse and dog track owners, bow and arrow manufacturers, owners of NASCAR tracks, Oldsmobile dealers, timber companies, the insurance industry (like they need another one!) and many more. On top of that pile of pork, there are more than 70 amendments still to be considered before a final vote is taken. The cost of all these deals will be at least another $170 billion sucked from tax revenues and this comes on top of a recent report that more than 60% of the companies in the US don’t pay any income taxes at all.

This is just one more example of why it’s bad to have both the legislative and executive branches of this government in the hands of the same party. Pork will go on no matter who’s in charge. However, if you have the Republicans and the Democrats splitting power, at least there is some kind of check on this kind of special interest binge. Not to mention the various other crap that has been going on over the past three years.

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2 Comments

  1. aschoolyardblogger

    We went to a party recently and were discussing the lobbyist idea with some friends who are into non-profit kinds of things and lobbying. Somehow they think that special interest stuff is just a sign of the times. Bad times I would say. They were moaning because in Colorado we have what is called the GAVEL (give a vote to every legislator)ammendment. With GAVEL the title of a bill states exactly what is contained in the bill which eliminates tacking things together. It really speeds legislation up and keeps people more honest. People who like pork hate it.

  2. Tim

    I like the GAVEL idea! Not only does it provide truth in labeling for the bill, it also forces the legislators to go on the record for or against each individual issue. No wonder Congress never set things up this way.

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