After the shameful passing of one of the largest pork projects this country has ever seen, in the Transportation Bill last month, I thought nothing could surprise me in this country's elected leaders' desires to throw money around. I was wrong. The government response to the Katrina disaster has given them the urge to, once again, throw our money around like drunken sailors.
Never mind the fact that Alaska's Rep. Don Young, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has bragged that the bill is "stuffed like a turkey" with goodies for his state, and that it includes $721 million for Alaska, including a $2.2 million "bridgeto nowhere" connecting the town of Kethikan (Pop. 8900) to an airport on Gravina Island (pop. 50) but another bridge in Anchorage has a $200 million price tag and is considered such a marginal project that even the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce opposes it. All this while we suffer from a slowing economy, have cut taxes and are fighting a war in Iraq and across the middle east.
Now, however the government, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to help the poor of NOLA and the other affected areas with an infusion of $62 billion (with a "b") to start and promises of another $100 to 200 billion or so later on. With no idea, yet what the real damages are or what the money is needed for, these prize pork rearers are already sending this money down the black hole of corruption and malfeasance. Just to show that they care. With your money.
We now know that the media frenzy and the finger-pointing local and state officals in New Orleans and Lousiana have aided in blowing this very real tragedy as far out of proportion as possible. Suggestions last week by Mayor Nagin that the deaths would probably number nearly 10, 000 have been tempered by the actual count today of less than 200! Meanwhile, rather than wait to accurately assess the REAL damage, our elected officials have pledged more money than many national GDPs to assuage the guilt that MIGHT be foisted upon them by political pundits and race-hustlers in the coming weeks and months (and to assure them that they deserve to be re-elected!).
The costs of government need to be cut. This means cutting programs and employees and salaries and aid to everyone, until we get our financial house in order. I know one thing. I wouldn't want to give a blank check-and that is what is being given to the local governments of this region-to a group that has proven that they can't even balance a checkbook.
As one political pundit has written(John Fund On the Trail, OpinionJournal.com, 9/12/2005) "what has happened to the Republican wing of the Republican Party"?
Go to the following link and tell congress not to throw your money wastefully at even more pork projects in the name of "Katrina Relief". The site is that of Citizens Against Government Waste. Click on "Help Keep Pork out of Hurricane Relief" and then click on "Action Alert". Then sign the petition. It's that simple!