Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thanks Speaker For The Waste, Fraud and Abuse

Not too long ago Speaker Pelosi announced her strategy for not only balancing the budget, but also to change the atmosphere of Congress and improve its reputation. She vowed to seek out areas of "Waste, Fraud, and Abuse" that had plagued the previous legislators.

Well, Speaker Pelosi has gone out and shown the nation exactly the kind of legislative leader she is. Showing top form, she identified a number of extraneous spending measures snuck into a non-related bill. Here are some examples of this "waste, fraud and abuse":

$250 Million for milk
$120 Million for shrimp
$75 Million for peanuts
$25 Million for spinach
$15 Million for rice

Were these spending measures discussed and debated on their merits? Were they pinpointed by Congress as special situations in need of federal monetary assistance? No, they were snuck into a totally unrelated bill in hopes it would pass without anyone noticing. This fits in perfectly with Speaker Pelosi's campaign against "waste, fraud, and abuse."

Too bad she's the one responsible for them.

You see, Ms. Pelosi wanted to pass a bill that would force the US to leave Iraq. Problem is, she wasn't sure she had enough votes to get it passed. Rather than debate the bill on its merits, Ms. Pelosi resorted to bribery. Each one of these spending projects is earmarked for the home districts of Representatives who for whatever reason were on the fence leading up to the vote. The bribes total $20 Billion.

I hope it was worth it.


Charles D said...

Since the Iraq War is costing $200 Billion per year, $20 Billion to stop it sounds like a smart investment.

Of course, any Democratic lawmaker who was crass enough demand pork for his district in order to vote to bring the troops home should be defeated at the polls next time.

Cameron said...

So the end justifies the means, huh?

Oh, and it appears that nobody was "demanding" the pork. It was freely offered and freely given. Perhaps it is the leadership that should be defeated at the polls next time.

Charles D said...

Perhaps you're right. I'm certainly not that impressed with Pelosi. Of course, compared to the Republicans who were in leadership before, she's great, but that's not much of a challenge.

I think you proposed the idea of worth so you are stuck with the one-time cost of $20 billion versus the annual cost of $200 billion and the total cost of over $2 trillion for a war we never needed to fight.

Rob said...

I'm impressed with her.

Cameron said...

Welcome Rob!

I think Speaker Pelosi can be and at times is a great Speaker. But I think it's a big mistake to spend so much time focusing on scandal and scoring political points. I really dislike the bribery in the Iraq spending bill. She, and the Congress as a whole, need to spend more effort on talking up the good they are doing rather than the bad everyone else is doing. She needs to work to make sure that the bills they passed in the 100 hours strategy are passed by the Senate and actually become law.

Charles D said...

Cameron, let's try to set rational objectives for Speaker Pelosi.

The Dems have a razor-thin majority in the Senate and some of those Dems are pretty conservative guys and vote with the Republicans now and then. They are certainly not in a position to swiftly pass the legislation passed up from the House, and if they did, it would be vetoed by Bush and they have no chance whatever of overturning a veto.

The most productive thing the Democratic House can do for the nation is investigate every thing the Bush administration has done for the last 6 years and bring all their unqualified political appointments in to testify under oath in public about what's been going on. The more the public knows about this administration, the more likely they are to throw the bums out along with the Senators and Congressmen that supported them.

Cameron said...

I disagree DL. The public will tire quickly of the constant hearings and partisan sniping. It will do nothing to help the Democrats in the long run.

Charles D said...

The evidence is otherwise, Cameron. A Pew poll released this week indicates that 35% feel Congress is doing too little investigation and 25% think the current level is fine. Only 31% feel there is too much investigating.

The more dirt is uncovered, the more air time they media will devote to the story, and the more angry and disappointed voters will get in the Bush administration. Since there is a veritable mountain of dirt to uncover, I say grab the shovels and dig!

Cameron said...

DL, most polls 4 years ago showed great support for the war in Iraq.

Polls change. As will the support for investigations.

People want Congress to do something. They want progress, not politics.

C-Hayes said...

Cameron - I've linked this in the hopes that more will see the hyprocisy you've exposed. Good work yet again.