Viewpoint: Pork packers would be proud

October 21, 2008

A few weeks ago Congressional leaders said they had to pass a $700 billion economic rescue plan quickly to save us all from economic ruin.  Their first effort failed, so they got together again to improve the plan.  How did they make it better?  There were a handful of small substantive changes.  But the big adjustment was to pack it with pork.

Get this.  The final bailout bill included $192 million in tax rebates for the Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum industry , $148-million in tax breaks for wool fabric producers, $100 million to help racetrack owners.

Ad this is best one, a $2 million tax benefit for the makers of wooden arrows for children.  Are you kidding me? 

Leaders of both parties, from the President on down, insisted this plan had to pass to prevent a depression.  Are we supposed to believe that the country faced financial collapse without money to prop up the wooden arrow industry?  Ridiculous! 

This is exactly what's wrong in Washington.  We can't trust our leaders to pass even the most necessary spending bill without weighing it down with waste.  Even anti-earmark crusader John McCain supported the plan that was full of earmarks.  So did Barack Obama.

It's time politicians showed true leadership.  Stop pandering to special interests.  Stop passing wasteful spending bills.  And stop looking us in the eye and saying you don't support pork when we can smell the bacon on you from a mile away.