Skip to comments.What Congress Did Is Disgusting
Posted on 10/29/2005 11:26:41 PM PDT by Tom87
You heard what the Senate did to Tom Coburn's attempt to impose some sanity on spending.
How do they live with themselves?
Years ago, interviewing economist Walter Williams for a show ABC News called "Greed," I was perplexed when Williams said, "a thief is more moral than a congressman; when a thief steals your money, he doesn't demand you thank him."
That was silly hyperbole, I thought, but watching Congress spend, I see that I was naive and Williams was right.
When the Democrats held power, I confronted Sen. Robert Byrd about wasting our money on "Robert Byrd Highway"-type projects in West Virginia. His answer was as arrogant as he was: "I would think that the national media could rise above the temptation of being clever, decrepitarian critics who twaddlize, just as what you're doing right here."
"Twaddlizing?" I asked.
"Trivializing serious matters," he explained.
I persisted, "Is there no limit? Are you not at all embarrassed about how much you got?" Byrd glared at me in silence, and finally demanded, angrily, "Are you embarrassed when you think you're working for the good of the country? Does that embarrass you?"
The Republicans promised to change the culture. Democrats sold panic. "Don't vote for them! They're going to shrink government and take away your favorite programs!" They needn't have worried. The Republicans got elected, but if the Democrats' goal was to expand the government, they were the real winners.
Once Republicans were in power, they started spending money even faster than the Democrats did.
Big spender Ted Stevens responded to Coburn's good suggestion to kill a "Bridge to Nowhere" with a tantrum on the Senate floor: He threatened to resign and "be taken out of here on a stretcher."
Good! Sen. Stevens, please go. I'll even help carry the stretcher.
Unfortunately, Congress has an unwritten code: "Don't threaten the other congressmen's loot." The Senate reprimanded Coburn by voting 82 to 15 to save the Bridge to Nowhere.
The Ketchikan, Alaska, bridge is particularly egregious because it's a bridge to a nearly uninhabited island. Yet it will be monstrous -- higher than the Brooklyn Bridge and almost as long as the Golden Gate. Even some in Ketchikan laugh about it. One told us, "Short view is, I don't see a need for it. The long view ... I still don't see a need for it."
Last week, Alaska's other senator, Lisa Murkowski, said it would be "offensive" not to spend your money on her bridge. When she first became a senator, I asked her if Republicans believed in smaller government. She was unusually candid: "We want smaller government. But, boy, I sure want more highways and more stuff, whatever the stuff is."
I'll say. Alaska's pork projects spanned 67 pages. They get much more than other states. "Oh, you need to come up," she said. "You would realize it's not pork. It's all necessity ... People look at Alaska and say, 'Well, gee, they're getting all this money.' But we still have communities that are not tied in to sewer and water. There are certain basic things that you've got to have."
But my children shouldn't have to pay for them. If people want to live in remote areas of Alaska, why can't they pay for their own sewers and water, through state or local taxes, or better yet, through private businesses? Why should all Americans pay to run sewer lines through the vast, frozen spaces of Alaska? Because Alaska has no money?
Don't believe it. Alaska has so much money, it has no state income tax or sales tax. Instead, it gives its citizens money from something called the Alaska Permanent Fund.
Stevens, Murkowski and Don Young, who once told critics of the Bridge to Nowhere that they could "kiss his ear," are not unique. Republican politicians talk about limited government, but the longer they are in power, the more they vote to spend.
Spending your money, they want "more stuff."
I'm pretty sure that's illegal in Georgia.
The vast majority of senators of BOTH parties, in my opinion, are completely pathetic. They are like a deck party of elites on the Titanic.
I miss the days of firing squads and keel hauling.
IMO, the battles should be: 1. establish term limits, being a politician should NOT be a career, I suggest a maximum of 8 years total with regard the congress i.e. 4 terms house, or 1 term house, 1 term senate, if we keep the popular election of senators - see next item; 2. eliminate popular election of senators, they are supposed to represent their state not the people, that's the representatives' job. I find it incredible that in a country which professes to be established on the idea of States' Rights, the only entity that has no direct representation in congress are those same states. Go back to what the constitution originally had; 3. set up terms so that time spent in office is 3 months DC, 3 home, 3 DC, 3 home. That would sure keep them down home where we, their bosses, are, not in the elitist atmosphere of DC; 4. something has to be done about campaign finance, and the kind of bills they do now are not the answer. IMO, the only real answer is to eliminate any kind of direct campaign finance. So, all contributions would go to one huge fund and that would be divided between all candidates qualified and running for office. Like that would ever happen. But, it sure is one way to eliminate 'influence', since no one would know who contributed to their campaigns, lol. Just getting my frustrations out there....
Well, it's time to give up on the Republicans.
It seems we're doomed to a huge debt and huge spending.
Remember that this bill passed 85 to 15. That means plenty of Republicans supported it. They apparently didn't have the balls to say no.
Reagan did the same thing. He ran the defecit up, won the cold war with it and then the Democrats had to raise taxes to pay it off. Reagan got what he wanted because Democrats would have thrown the money away and raised taxes anyway.
Maybe that's Bush's strategy.
Dr. Coburn is a good man, sound fellow. He is the most true conservative left in the Senate.
Screw the Republican Party. Screw the democRat Party. Useless parasites, all of them.
I'm sorry. I know Coburn's amendment was symbolic, but I'd much rather send money to the bridge to nowhere than anywhere near the corrupt Louisiana political machine.
What's the difference between a politician and a con artist? A con artist will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. A politician will build the bridge for you "At no extra cost."
You're way off.
The problem is that we have too much democracy. People are voting themselves money. It's as simple as that. Anyone threatening restraint pisses off some group that's getting a hand-out or subsidy. You don't win elections without buying votes with tax-payer money.
If you want restraint, the first thing you could do is get everyone to pay taxes. When bridges to nowhere stop being "free" to large numbers of voters, then they might change. But tell me, who's going to vote people into power that are going to tax them?
See, too much democracy. We have voters that pay too little in taxes, but want to be given large amounts of money.
As far as I'm concerned, if you receive government money, or you don't pay taxes, you should have no say concerning spending legislation. But that wouldn't be democratic. "The people" would have less power. Less power to steal from taxpayers, that is.
Hey, don't knock it 'til you've tried it.
I guess it's time the spread the corruption to Alaska, right?
That's the long-term effect of government spending like this.
Or maybe I suppose this spending is itself a form of corruption. At least of Republican principles.
I take hope from this, in a small way. At least there were 15 that voted for sanity. I would never have predicted that many ahead of time.
Sadly Louisiana will also get their share of pork.
Wow. A whole 15 votes to kill a totally-useless bridge to accomplish absolutely nothing. Yeah, that's dandy. Thank God for the Republican Party's victories over the years; it's really paid off, just like they promised. All that "limited government" going on.
Screw the Republican Party. A pack of lying, thieving parasites.
He ran the defecit up, won the cold war with it ==
It is wrong. Reagan didn't win cold war. He just astronomically increased US debts. http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/
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