When the Pigs Keep Getting Fat
It takes a natural disaster for politicians to take advantage of voters’ wallets.
The $50 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package is loaded with lard. It contains, among other things, money for Amtrak expansion project, government autos and fisheries in Alaska and Mississippi. An amendment to adjust failed miserably.
The American taxpayer absorbs the ultimate rip-off. Politicians are again having a free-for-all with the Treasury. It was estimated that from the proposed package, every woman, man and child in New Jersey would receive $4,200. Political porkers lined up to get their greedy hooves on the Treasury kitty.
Look at these expenditures: $5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers (no accompanying statement for priorities); $11.7 billion to help repair New York City subways; $125 million for the Department of Agriculture’s emergency program for watershed damage by wildfires and drought; $2 million for Smithsonian Institution; $50 million for subsidies in tree planting on private property; $188 million for an Amtrak project to curb bottlenecks (this expense was on the table well before Sandy), says the Club for Growth, an influential political group who urged restraint to the pork packages riding on the taxpayers’ wallets.
Is there any wonder there is such a low rating for politicians among the public? Public opinion arises when fast and furious spending begins. Want to hear more”? How about $150 million for fisheries in Sandy and other natural disasters; $20,000 for a new car for the inspector general; $10.8 billion for the Federal Transportation Administration; $4 million for repairs at the Kennedy Space Center; and $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disaster Center?
Why the urgency for passage? Political re-election, of course. A sensible realistic alternative budget was soundly defeated. Politicians turned on the disaster spigot for taxpayers.
A.L. Capel Jr.
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