Oink, Oink  --  09/23/05

Billions of dollars are being tossed at the areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina. How much? Billions, tens of billions, maybe two hundred billion...

More billions will be tossed at the damage caused by Rita (and right now it appears that Rita is causing more flooding in New Orleans).

And, of course, we all know that in past hurricanes, FEMA has wasted millions of dollars in making payments for damage that was not related to the storm, sometimes paying for imaginary damage. With tens of billions of dollars floating around -- much of it going to the most corrupt and incompetent city government in the most corrupt and incompetent state -- there will be billions of dollars wasted, squandered, misappropriated, etc. In other words, we are about to get ripped off big time.

But I'm not worried about the vast amounts of theft that will take place...

I'm worried about how we are going to pay for this in the first place.

The suggestion has been made that the money going to repair the damage from Katrina (and Rita) should come from cutting government pork.
This suggestion has met with porcine squeals from the congress critters busy slurping away at the feeding trowth of special interest bribes campaign contributions. One of the obvious places to look for pork is in that obscene highway bill that was recently passed. Tom DeLay is horrified (R, Texas) is horrified . that anyone could even think of offsetting the costs of rebuilding after Katrina by removing any of the billions of dollars of idiotic pork projects included in that bloated mess.

Read what (noted conservative) columnist Peggy Noonan had to say about this yesterday on the Wall Stree Journals online Opinion Page.

May I make a suggestion to those of you who live in the U.S. -- Let your representatives know how you feel about the idea of offsetting the rebuilding costs by cutting government pork.

How about the hundreds of millions of dollars in highway and bridge construction money going to Alaska (a state whose state government income goes up by more than fifty million dollars a year for every one dollar increase in the price of crude oil)? According to Think Progress (a Web site that is very politically liberal) the bill includes:
$223 million for a bridge larger than the Brooklyn Bridge and almost as long as the Golden Gate, to connect a town with 8,900 people to a town with 50 people.

$200 million for another ďbridge to nowhere,Ē which will connect Anchorage to a town with one tenant and a handful of homes.
And when asked about this Chief Porker Congressman Don Young (R, Alaska) said "That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard." and went on to add that he had raised some money voluntarily and that was enough. When questioned by a reporter if there wasn't at least twenty-four billion dollars that could be moved from the highway bill to be used for hurricane relief and rebuilding, he said:
No! That money is not there! That money is for transportation! That is not added pork. See, thatís why the whole media ó Wall Street Journal, yourself, respectfully, you know, Sam Donaldson ó donít know what the hell you are talking about. This is grandstanding by individuals that donít know what theyíre talking about. Iíll go back to that. Itís ignorance and stupidity.

What about your senators and your representative? Do they also think you are ignorant and stupid or will they be willing to give up some pork so that we can rebuild without stressing the economy more than it has been already?

Blogger The-Truth-Laid-Bear has put up a list of all members of the U.S. Congress for all fifty states (plus the District of Columbia and Guam and Puerto Rico) with links to their official Web pages (which contain e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc.) plus an field for recording their position on the question of cutting pork to offset hurricane costs.

So... let's let them hear from us, loudly and clearly.

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