Partisanship, Who Needs It?

Partisanship, Who Needs It?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Partisanship starts with "P", so does "Pork"

Partisan politics and Pork spending are all tied up together, both based around the need to get elected. Here is a Prime example of a pork laden bill courtesy of Liz Mair at GOP Progress

Liz writes:

What the hell all of this is doing in a defense bill, I have no idea:

$24 million for funding for sugar beets.
$3 million for funding for sugar cane (goes to one Hawaiian co-op).
$20 million for insect infestation damage reimbursements in Nevada, Idaho, and Utah.
$2.1 billion for crop production losses
$1.5 billion for livestock production losses.
$100 million for Dairy Production Losses.
$13 million for Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program.
$32 million for Livestock Indemnity Program.
$40 million for the Tree Assistance Program.
$100 million for Small Agricultural Dependent Businesses.
$6 million for North Dakota flooded crop land.
$35 million for emergency conservation program.
$50 million for the emergency watershed program.
$115 million for the conservation security program.
$18 million for drought assistance in upper Great Plains/South West.
Provision that extends the availability by a year $3.5 million in funding for guided tours of the Capitol. Also a provision allows transfer of funds from holiday ornament sales in the Senate gift shop.
$165.9 million for fisheries disaster relief, funded through NOAA (including $60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath Basin region).
$12 million for forest service money (requested by the president in the non-emergency FY2008 budget).
$425 million for education grants for rural areas (Secure Rural Schools program).
$640 million for LIHEAP.
$25 million for asbestos abatement at the Capitol Power Plant.
$388.9 million for funding for backlog of old Department of Transportation projects.
$22.8 million for geothermal research and development.
$500 million for wildland fire management.
$13 million for mine safety technology research.
$31 million for one month extension of Milk Income Loss Contract program (MILC)
$50 million for fisheries disaster mitigation fund.
$100 million for security at the Presidential Candidate Nominating Conventions
$2 million for the University of Vermont

Thanks, Democrats...
Liz is right, none of this belongs in a defense bill, the practice of loading bills full of unrelated items to garner support is probably one of the greatest contributors towards partisanship and bad government. Even provisions of bills that wouldn't stand a chance of being passed by themselves suddenly manage to make it through the process and often the Congress has little idea what they are actually voting into law as the smaller items get easily lost in the monsterous mass of documents that such bills end up becoming.

But the blame doesn't go solely to the Democrats, Republicans have been practicing pork for a long time as well. It is just fashionable to hypocritically attack the opposition and hope that the public's memory can't go back a few mere months.

No comments: