Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lying Politicians

You just gotta love Congress, don’t you? Remember when they were running around promising if you’d vote for them, you’d have a friend in Washington. They promised they’d be in there fighting for you. Remember that? Remember how they ran all those negative ads to prove their opponent was nothing more than another corrupt Washington insider, remember that? Do you still believe it? Do you remember when they promised to always put the interests of the country first and foremost? Still believe it? Wanna buy a bridge?
How about the collapse of our entire financial system and the $700 billion bailout bill that according to who’s telling the story may or may not work. How’s that going? Do you still believe it’s all one party’s fault and that your Congressman or woman is the lone shining star in the bunch? Believe what you want.
The bailout bill passed the Senate the first time around without any problem. But when it came up for a vote in the House, things turned out a little different. A few of them actually started raising questions about the bill they were voting on. Speeches were given and tempers flared.
Yes! Could it be that we finally had enough politicians with the guts to do the right thing for a change? Could it be that they were making good on the promises they’d made us? Did they vote against the bill because it was wrong for America? Did they vote against it because they believed we needed more time to think it through? I’d like to think so.
No, they voted against it because they needed more time to cram a bunch of pet, pork-barrel projects into this “must-pass” legislation and then dared anyone to vote against it. In essence, they let it be known that their votes were for sale for let’s say, another $112 billion in pork-barrel projects.
Republicans and Democrats alike bellied up to the feeding trough. They sold their votes for pet projects like $2 million in tax breaks for a company in Oregon that makes wooden arrows for kids. That’s right boys and girls, kids toys. Someone’s friend in Washington secured an agreement to save a few racetrack owners somewhere around $100 million in taxes over the next two years. Rum producers know who their friends are. If you happen to produce rum and you happen to produce it in either Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands, your guy sold his vote to save you $192 million in taxes over the course of the next two years. Wool producers came out pretty good too, their friends in Washington made sure they’d get $148 million worth of goodies too.
There was even a little something in the goody bag for the Plaintiffs in the Exxon-Valdez oil spill too. Because of the efforts of their guy, Rep. Don Young R, Alaska, they stand to save up to $49 million in taxes on the punitive damages they were ordered to pay almost 30 years ago. And if you happen to own a corporation that made money in the American Somoa area, you’re now entitled to your share of $33 million courtesy of the American taxpayer.
Here’s my favorite. Thanks to the heroic efforts of lawmakers like Rep. Diane Watson D, Los Angeles, Hollywood film makers who agree to make their movies in the United States stand to save $478 million in taxes over the course of the next ten years. Now isn’t that nice? Now we all get a chance to help Hollywood make even more of their Anti-American films. Give me a break.
I know, a lot of you will defend these Congressmen, saying they’re only looking out for their constituents. Besides, isn’t that what they’re supposed to do? Here’s what I think. I think they’re liars and I think they were looking out themselves by taking care of some of their major campaign contributors. But then, what do I know, I’m just an old guy.
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