Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"Emergency" Senate Pork

I've actually taken some time to read through the Senate version of the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008". Every interested person who wants to express an "educated" opinion about it should actually read it.

The basic bill is not very different from the original House bill, but it's still full of porcine garbage. For example:

(a) STUDY.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to undertake a comprehensive review of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to identify the types of and specific tax provisions that have the largest effects on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and to estimate the magnitude of those effects.
(b) REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the National Academy of Sciences shall submit to Congress a report containing the results of study authorized under this section.
(c) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $1,500,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

Now seriously, this is supposed to be the 'biggest national crisis' since the Great Depression, and they're wasting time talking about a "carbon audit" of the tax code? But that's not all of it. There's so much more, including funding for race tracks! (look it up!) Well, how about a carbon audit of the race tracks too? ;-)

On the more reasonable side, there are some extensions of some current but about to expire tax credits and other incentives meant to stimulate business. Those are supposed to make the socialism a little more palatable to the conservatives, but I think it still looks like lipstick on a pig that still stinks really bad. ;-)

As for that carbon audit at a cost of $1.5 million, I guess that's supposed to look like pocket change compared to hundreds of billions. Great. So some climate scientists will get more funding to waste time studying something that is completely irrelevant and unimportant.

My prediction is that this bill with pass the Senate tonight, and then it will go back to the House to have even more "emergency" pork added to it, and then back to the Senate again. But honestly, the way that everyone has chastised the "ordinary" Americans for not supporting the bailout is just scapegoating us because it's easy. But the real villains here are those Congress members who are delaying this "urgent" legislation to avert "catastrophe" by squabbling over carbon audits, wooden toy arrows, race tracks, "substance use disorder" benefits, TV and film production tax breaks, and lots of other non-emergency nonsense.

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