Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Highway pork

It's a good thing that Republicans control the purse strings these days, huh? Otherwise, Congress would be spending over a quarter of a trillion dollars on highways and other pet projects.

Oops...looks like they did anyway. From the AP:
President Bush is signing a whopping $286.4 billion transportation bill that lawmakers stuffed with plenty of cash for some 6,000 pet projects back home.


The bill contains more than 6,371 special projects valued at more than $24 billion, or about 9 percent of the bill's total cost, he said. The distribution of the money for these projects "is based far more on political clout than on transportation need," Ashdown said.

Alaska, the third-least populated state, for instance, got the fourth most money for special projects — $941 million — thanks largely to the work of its lone representative, House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young. That included $231 million for a bridge near Anchorage to be named "Don Young's Way" in honor of the Republican.
Looks like Don Young has learned from the best: Robert "Sheets" Byrd (KKK-WV). How much money did Alaska really need? I's freakin' Alaska!

Answer me this: when you look at money withheld from your paycheck, or you look at the check you have to send to the IRS, do you feel good knowing that instead of using that money for a college fund, retirement fund, charitable contribution, household're instead paying for a bridge in Anchorage, AK, or the Centennial Corridor Loop in Bakersfield, CA? When my boy's ready for college, am I to say "Sorry, son, but I had to finance a state park's outhouse in South Dakota"? A portion of my life and labor has been confiscated by the imperial federal government to pay for something that is offensive to ask me to finance...not to mention an act clearly contrary to what the Founding Fathers envisioned the federal government doing.

Bush has kept his perfect record in place: never having vetoed a bill in five years. Anybody wonder if the GOP is really the party of fiscal "conservatism" and restraint that they claim to be? Hasn't the big knock on liberals running the show been that when they did, they spent too much damned money? Maybe what Neal Boortz said is true: Republicans are becoming Democrats, and Democrats are becoming socialists.

Much as I dislike McCain, he had an excellent point with this observation:
But Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., one of four senators who opposed the bill, said the estimated $24 billion lawmakers directed to special projects was "egregious." He has cited dozens of what he calls "interesting" projects. His favorite: $2.3 million for landscaping along the Ronald Reagan Freeway in California.

"I wonder what Ronald Reagan would say?" McCain asked about the fiscally conservative president.
Ronnie likely would have opposed it, properly acknowledging that it would be an improper use of taxpayer dollars.

Libertarian, anyone?