Monday, December 21, 2009

Full Steam Ahead on U.S.S. Irresponsibility

We have no rudder, we're almost out of fuel, springing leaks everywhere. Let's take this baby out to sea!

The congress has been busy spending money these past few weeks. Your money. Well, not actually your money, per se, it's either China's money that you are responsible to repay, or they are stealing it from you via inflation by firing up the printing presses. Either way, they have shown that they have no more concept of reality than the Wall Street Fat Cats that they would have you believe are our only problem. Only Wall Street tycoons are in a position to steal from you, right? Regardless, I hope you have your $39,000, because that's your share, and they'll end up getting it one way of another.

It began with the new $1.1T spending bill that made its way through the House and the Senate about a week ago. According to the facts as provided to me by Evan Bayh (D - IN), there is an 8% increase in the budget across the board. Not many corporations are fortunate enough to get that kind of increase in spending in their 2010 budget. Not many workers are getting a cost of living raise of four times the rate of inflation, either. Bayh, to his credit, voted 'No' on the bill, only one of three Democrats to do so, but he has been guilty of plenty of reckless spending otherwise (cash for clunkers, TARP, Stimulus, Healthcare).

We can also thank our friends in Congress for over $4B in earmark spending hidden in the bill. Over 400 earmarks were submitted by Chuck Grassley (R - IA), though he claims not to know how many actually made it into the final bill. I subsequently saw him on television defending himself, saying that while he submitted the earmarks, he did not vote for the bill. Apparently that leaves him, in his mind, entirely faultless in the fiasco. It's all justifiable in politician-logic. The way Grassley sees it, everyone wins: He gets his earmarks to mollify those who pay for his elections, because the bill passed without him, yet can still feign outrage, citing his 'No' vote on the Senate floor. He's in luck, because the bill has been signed. What was that I remember about going line by line to eliminate earmarks (2, 3, 4, 5)?

They tried to sell us that the budget would be better next time around when they passed the $410B 'Omnibus' budget bill at the beginning of the year. They tried to sell that it was 'last year's business, leftovers of the reckless spending of the dreadful Bush era (even though all budgets are constructed by congress, controlled not by George W. Bush, or even republicans over the past two years).

Without a hitch, they moved straight to healthcare. Not that anyone has read or knows what is actually in the bill. We do know a few things, however. Chris Dodd (D - CT) was able to get $100,000,000 packed into the bill for a medical center in Connecticut. What, exactly, does that have to do with providing health insurance for those who can't afford it? Ben Nelson (D - NE), was paid off, outright purchased, by getting the federal government to pick up the state's ENTIRE Medicaid tab, FOREVER. He had been holding out on 'moral grounds,' regarding federal funding for abortions. The people in his state made it clear that they didn't support federal funding for it, and it was looking like he would not be re-elected in 2010 if he voted for the bill. So did he change his vote based on a compromise in the provisions that he (and his constituents) found objectionable? No. He supplied his vote in exchange for CASH, just like Mary Landrieu.

Such fortitude! Way to stand your ground for your 'beliefs,' good sir.

For those of you living in the 49 other states, realize that he is voting 'Yes' on the healthcare bill in exchange for YOUR paying Nebraska's Medicare bill for the remainder of the existence of our republic. Enjoy!

Don't get me wrong, we need healthcare reform. There are a great many things within the system that are broken. And who broke it? State and federal government, of course. They were lobbied by insurance companies to put up walls to competition and falsely inflate their profits. We would not be here without the complete and utter complicity of those who are entrusted with the authority to 'fix' it.

Yes, something needs to change. But we don't need secrecy and back-room pay-offs to get it. Is their cause really so noble that they need to pass it behind closed doors and the cover of darkness? We need to know what is in the bill BEFORE it is passed. And, I know that this might sound crazy, the bill should ONLY INCLUDE PROVISIONS WHICH ACTUALLY ARE RELATED TO THE ISSUE TO BE ADDRESSED. No pork. But Harry Reid (D - NV) said himself, if Senators aren't trying to get something for themselves, they're not doing their jobs.

Why are these bills so ridiculously massive? Why do they keep getting bigger? Well, Harry just said it. Everyone has to have a little something in it for them. And each time, they feel like they need just a little more. And a little more. Have we had enough of politicians using taxpayer money to pay off their campaign contributors? Have we had enough of their pandering to corporate interests? Have we had enough of them using tax dollars to ensure their own continuing power? It would seem not. Apparently it's only the bankers and Wall Street fat cats and insurance company executives that we need to worry about. That's what the politicians keep saying, at least.

Wake up and smell the debt. Feel the water we're taking on. Realize that it won't be the Captains who go down with the ship, it will be the passengers.

Pelosi, you'll be back at the helm soon enough. Steer us well.


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