Friday, October 03, 2008
Now we see the payoff from having the marginal vote.
POLITICIANS PACK RESCUE PLAN WITH PORK
Here, little piggies!
Congressional deal-brokers yesterday slopped a mess of pork into the $700 billion financial rescue bill passed by the Senate last night -- including a tax break for makers of kids' wooden arrows -- in a bid to lure reluctant lawmakers into voting for the package
Stuffed into the 451-page bill are more than $1.7 billion worth of targeted tax breaks to be doled out for a sty full of eyebrow-raising purposes over the next decade.
"This is how Washington works," said Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington research group. "A big pot of pork is their recipe for final passage."
The special provisions include tax breaks for:
* Manufacturers of kids' wooden arrows - $6 million.
* Puerto Rican and Virgin Is- lands rum producers - $192 million.
* Wool research.
* Auto-racing tracks - $128 million.
* Corporations operating in American Samoa - $33 million.
* Small-to-medium-budget film and television productions - $10 million.
Another measure inserted into the bill appears to be a bald-faced bid aimed at winning the support of Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who voted against the original version when it went down in flames in the House on Monday.
That provision - a $223 million package of tax benefits for fishermen and others whose livelihoods suffered as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill - has been the subject of fervent lobbying by Alaska's congressional delegation.
Some of the pork-barrel measures buried in the financial rescue package had been contained in a bill that previously passed the Senate, but died in the House.
The Congressional Budget Office said the package of breaks - including obvious pork and some more defensible tax-relief measures - will add about $112 billion to budget deficits over the next five years because the bill doesn't contain enough offsetting revenue hikes to keep the budget balanced.
The legislative lard annoyed Tom Schatz, president of the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste.
"There's always something that goes on at the end where the last dozen members are trying to get something for themselves or for a special interest rather than what might be good for the country"... [NY Post]
"I'm not sure ... I'm thinking about it ... This decision is too important to be made lightly ..."