ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Grab Your Pitchfork

How out of touch is a United States Senator? They're so out of touch that they don't realize that Americans are tied of earmarks, pork-barrel, special interest politics and end up adding another Billion dollars in pork to a 700 billion dollar bailout plan.

As I predicted on Tuesday, the only way the "bailout" would get passed was with a bunch of earmarks and pork-barrel spending. From my post:

[...] as more time passes, the GOP and Democrats who opposed the bill yesterday will only be emboldened to keep their current positions.

The only way that something will get passed is if it gets loaded up with the earmarks and pet projects that have become typical in D.C.

And, if something loaded with pork and pet projects does get passed, it will only strengthen public opinion that D.C. is broken.

From the New York Post
By DAPHNE RETTER, Post Correspondent
October 2, 2008 --

WASHINGTON - Here, little piggies!

Congressional deal-brokers yesterday slopped a mess of pork into the $700 billion financial rescue bill passed by the Senate last night - including a tax break for makers of kids' wooden arrows - in a bid to lure reluctant lawmakers into voting for the package

Stuffed into the 451- page bill are more than $1.7 billion worth of targeted tax breaks to be doled out for a sty full of eyebrow-raising purposes over the next decade.

"This is how Washington works," said Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington research group. "A big pot of pork is their recipe for final passage."

The special provisions include tax breaks for:
* 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.

Another measure inserted into the bill appears to be a bald-faced bid aimed at winning the support of Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who voted against the original version when it went down in flames in the House on Monday.

That provision - a $223 million package of tax benefits for fishermen and others whose livelihoods suffered as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill - has been the subject of fervent lobbying by Alaska's congressional delegation.
The Congressional Budget Office said the package of breaks - including obvious pork and some more defensible tax-relief measures - will add about $112 billion to budget deficits over the next five years because the bill doesn't contain enough offsetting revenue hikes to keep the budget balanced.
Some of the other measures added to win approval include a $3.8 billion health-care provision that forces insurance companies to provide coverage for mental-health treatment equivalent to the coverage they provide for physical illness.

Other add-ons will increase individual tax credits and help shield more than 20 million Americans from the painful alternative minimum tax, and offer breaks for businesses that invest in alternative fuels.

Also, several federal income-tax breaks due to expire will now be extended through 2009.

The Alternative Minimum Tax is nice, but only because the AMT is asinine as it is.

Actually, I take that back... the entire tax system is asinine. And they shouldn't have included AMT relief in this bill, rather they should have waited for a Tax Reform bill.

Now, just enough Americans will not feel the pain of AMT to make this a non-issue in future tax reform packages.

These idiots are so out of touch, they can't just vote on an unpopular package that they think is the right thing to do. If a Senator didn't think the 700B package was good on its own merits, and voted for it simply because they got a couple million in pork, they should be thrown out of office.

It's time to grab your pitchfork and march on Washington. These people are absolute retards.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler