Need proof of how pork-addicted Congress has become? Consider this: Some in the Senate are looking for ways to shift funds from the troops in Iraq to some of their favorite pet projects.The Senate is so addicted to pork that they have no concern at all about an Islamic takeover of that chamber. The smell of bacon alone is enough to send a jihadi running.
At risk is the $94.4 supplemental spending bill President Bush requested from Congress to provide $92 billion for hurricane relief and the troops in Iraq, and $2.4 billion for avian flu response. Despite his warning that anything more would be vetoed, several senators abused the legislation's must-pass status to add $14 billion in wasteful pork-barrel goodies for influential constituents, labor unions and corporations.
Included in the Senate's bill was $700 million to move a railroad line to help develop condos and casinos along Mississippi's damaged coast, $500 million to repair a shipyard, $4 billion to farmers (on top of the $25 billion they're already getting this year), $594 million for highways, $1.1 billion for the fishing industry and $20 million for AmeriCorps.Oh, yeah! Cut everything across the board to keep the pork in the budget! That's a wonderful idea.
As an aide to Sen. Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican, described the plan, the conferees could avoid painful choices and still meet the president's $94.4 billion limit by simply applying an across-the-board cut to the Senate version. With the Senate wanting $108.9 billion, an across-the-board cut of 13.2 percent would be required to bring the Senate's plan into line with the president's target.
Ttrent Lott of Mississippi wants $700 million to move a railroad line that we just repaired after Katrina. I drove across that line last weekend, and trains were running on it, bringing much needed supplies and commerce to the Gulf Coast. Yeah, they'd like to develop condos and casinos. Land is easy to find on the coast right now. Lots of For Sale signs along the coast. There is no shortage of salable land. This earmark is pure pork, along with the money for farmers, and the shipyard repair money. Pork everywhere.
This is my own party. The small government party. The responsible party. The conservative party. The Stupid Party. Between pork and immigraiton, these nitwits have lost me, along with most of the rest of their base. They have igoned the mandate they were given and have become unresponsive to the people. Damn them.
Hat tip to the Rottweiler.