Saturday, October 22, 2005

Coburn amendment goes down

82 members of the US Senate decided that it was inappropriate to cut back pork spending in the face of a heavy hurricane season and rising deficits. Only 15 thought it was appropriate. Since the Republicans have 55 seats that does not sound to me like a group that wants to be thought of as fiscally conservative. Powerline has the money quote from Alaska Senator Ted Stevens:
I've been here now almost 37 years. This is the first time I have seen any attempt of any senator to treat my state in a way different from any other state.

I don't kid people. If the Senate decides ... to take money from our state, I will resign from this body.

And John's follow up point...
When Stevens talks about treating Alaska differently from any other state, he isn't referring to the astonishing amount of federal money that is spent there. No, his definition of "treating differently" is subjecting his own pork requests to any rational scrutiny.

And when Stevens talks about "taking money from" Alaska, he means deciding not to spend $220 million to build a bridge for the benefit of 50 people. This statement, by a Republican Senator, is analogous to claims by liberals that when taxes are cut, the federal government is giving money to the rich.

Now for those of you (and that presumably includes most of the Senate) who are mathematically challenged, $220M / 50 people = $4.4M / person. How about we just give each person who lives on the island $1M tax free and call it a day?


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