Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Porky Pigs

Do you ever get the impression that Congress finds things to do just so they can quickly get to other things that might be more important to them?  Like spending money on projects and initiatives that will engender loyalty, or even immortalize themselves in their home districts.  Well duh, you say.  No, I'm not that naive.  In other words, working to pass legislation that may improve our lives, or rather what Congress perceives may improve our lives, is really just a trojan horse to pass what they really want.  Which is more pork for their own constituents and their own aggrandizement.  Take this latest attempt at a jobs bill.  Two weeks ago a much larger jobs bill, $85 billion to be exact, was pulled by Sen. Harry Reid for apparently being too big.  He felt that it contained too much pork and would create too few jobs, and that the Republicans would use that against him and his fellow Democrats in the fall.  Funny thing though, the Republicans were all for it.  Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), among others, are now livid that the pork they supported in the larger bill has been removed.  Hence, they no longer favor trying to generate jobs for out of work Americans.

That's an overstatement to be sure.  I'm not sure any jobs bill, or any bill for that matter, that is written and supported by this Congress and this president, is of any real value to Americans at all.  It just strikes me that a bunch of Republicans find themselves opposed to a tax holiday on payroll taxes for new hires over the loss of some pork for their own districts.  Maybe not forever, but just long enough to show Harry Reid how mad they are for not informing them of his new plan, which apparently turns "too big to fail" on its ear.  What the Democrats may have stumbled upon, at least Mr. Reid thinks so, could be termed "too small to ignore."  That is to say, that Mr. Reid is gambling that Americans aren't necessarily opposed to major change, they just don't like really big and expensive bills to try and accomplish said change.  So rather than try and pass behemoths like the $862 billion stimulus and the $1 trillion Obamacare, the new strategy will be to break these monsters down into smaller, more manageable portions.  Take the new $15 billion jobs bill.  Smaller numbers will attract less attention and therefore better digested at the state and local level.  Easier on the eyes and even more opportunity to spread the pork around.  The end result may still be hundreds of billions spent with little result, but you get the idea.

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