The Democrats and some entrenched old school RHINOs just don’t get it – we have a spending problem in America. Our government debt reaches a new historic high with each passing day, and yet they just cannot get it through their pig-headed skulls that we need to stop spending on things that are not top priorities, that do not meet compelling needs, and that do not have an immediate impact.
Even if they put a lot of lipstick on the pig in the form of a pretty name.
Case in point – the pork-filled bill named the Hurricane Sandy Relief Act – a bill that contains a scatter-shot of actual aid for the victims of the devastating October storm but is filled with plenty of sweetheart deal spending.
It was Obama’s close friend and Chief of Staff – and now current Chicago mayor – Rahm Emmanuel who said “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” And Hurricane Sandy was a serious crisis that cost lives, property, and the future prosperity of thousands of families on the Northeastern seaboard. New York and New Jersey are both in need of serious help to dig out from the disaster, so a bill that provides relief aid might well be considered a top priority to meet immediate compelling needs.
But $60 billion?
As we race closer to the fiscal cliff, it would be difficult to make a case for spending that huge sum of money.
And as it turns out, the bill is a porker.
Some of the places other than actual hurricane relief that will get taxpayer booty should the bill pass includes:
- $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments.
- $150 million for fisheries in Alaska.
- $2 million to repair the roof at the Smithsonian for damage done before the storm.
Plus, some of the amounts requested for areas affected by the storm are beyond ludicrous and have nothing to do with relieving the burden on people whose lives were wrecked by Hurricane Sandy. Some of the big money request that do not represent immediate needs include:
- $4.4 million to support repairs to Forest Service property.
- $78 million for large-scale Fish and Wildlife Service
- $348 million for large-scale National Park Service projects.
- $1.1 million for tree damage at 3 national cemeteries.
- $9 million to fund repairs for as yet incomplete Civil Works projects
that were not damaged severely by Hurricane Sandy.
- $5 million to assess and cleanup suspected oil spills resulted from Sandy.
- $5 million to the Small Business Administration’s
Office of Inspector General to support audits, reviews, and investigations of the proper use of funds (let the irony of that one sink in for a moment).
And on top of all of this pork, the bill contains close to $13 billion in outlays for “mitigation” projects. These projects are loosely defined as things that might help reduce damage from future storms. And we all know how efficiently government bureaucracies spend loosely allocated money. Personally, I expect to see some big raises next year among the upper echelon of executives at the government black hole agencies that receive these funds. After all, a good raise always mitigates future problems.
All in all, the Hurricane Sandy Relief Act once again exposes the problem with the current crew of elected officials – especially those so entrenched in their positions that they are practically sleeping on mattresses stuffed with taxpayer receipts.
Which leads me to encourage all of you to take one specific thing to heart: the most immediate compelling need we have here in the United States is to get our government to stop spending our money like it’s going out of style. Because if they don’t, quite frankly, it will.