•$2 million to repair damage to the roofs of museums in Washington, D.C., while many in Hurricane Sandy’s path still have no roof over their own heads.
•$150 million for fisheries as far away from the storm’s path as Alaska.
•$125 million for the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Watershed Protection program, which helps restore watersheds damaged by wildfires and drought.
•$20 million for a nationwide Water Resources Priorities Study.
•$15 million for NASA facilities, though NASA itself has called its damage from the hurricane ‘minimal.’
•$50 million in subsidies for tree planting on private properties.
•$336 million for taxpayer-supported AMTRAK without any detailed plan for how the money will be spent.
•$5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers – more than the Corps’ annual budget – with no statement of priorities about how to spend the money.
•$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies, without identifying a single way to pay for it.
All that should either be taken out of the bill or all that money funneled to you know, actual relief.
Yes stunning, and the first time ever that pork has been attached to a spending bill of course.
It seems the $109 billion Senate spending bill intended for Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war is loaded with PORK instead of priorities. Take for example this little gem – $140 million for rebuilding defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. Pascagoula, Miss location that was damaged by Katrina. The kicker is while “didn’t have enough insurance to cover hurricane losses at its shipyards” they don’t have to await “divine intervention” like “83-year-old Elzora Brown, a retired dry-cleaning presser whose little frame house was waterlogged up to the eaves.” Northrop Grumman “has an ally in the U.S. Senate.”
The Northrup money is an earmark, “one of those narrowly focused appropriations that members of Congress arrange for their constituents or favored recipients.”
By DAPHNE RETTER, Post Correspondent
Last Updated: 11:39 AM, October 2, 2008
Posted: 3:50 AM, October 2, 2008
WASHINGTON - Here, little piggies!
Congressional deal-brookers yesterday slopped a mess of pork into the $700 billion financial rescue bill passed by the Senate last night - including a tax break for makers of kids' wooden arrows - in a bid to lure reluctant lawmakers into voting for the package
Stuffed into the 451- page bill are more than $1.7 billion worth of targeted tax breaks to be doled out for a sty full of eyebrow-raising purposes over the next decade.
"This is how Washington works," said Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington research group. "A big pot of pork is their recipe for final passage."
The special provisions include tax breaks for:
* Manufacturers of kids' wooden arrows - $6 million.
* Puerto Rican and Virgin Is- lands rum producers - $192 million.
* Wool research.
* Auto-racing tracks - $128 million.
* Corporations operating in American Samoa - $33 million.
* Small- to medium-budget film and television productions - $10 million.
Another measure inserted into the bill appears to be a bald-faced bid aimed at winning the support of Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who voted against the original version when it went down in flames in the House on Monday.
That provision - a $223 million package of tax benefits for fishermen and others whose livelihoods suffered as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill - has been the subject of fervent lobbying by Alaska's congressional delegation.
Some of the pork-barrel measures buried in the financial rescue package had been contained in a bill that previously passed the Senate, but died in the House.
And sadly I could carry on adding to this list forever.
Patently false. Half the population does not want a ton of money spent, and that's why half the nation elected the GOP to be in charge of the house. Outside of highways and other small infrastructures, the military is really the only high priced government program the US Constitution allows and requires Congress to spend on. Those social programs that are all unconstitutional and are dragging the economy down with the amount of money those broke programs require? They make up, what, 46% of all government spending? If you axed all of those programs or handed them over to the state governments, the Federal Government is likely running budget surpluses at current revenue intake.
You do know that at the time the US Constitution was signed, there was no permanent US Military? No standing army, no fleet.
Congress isn't "required" by the constitution to spend on Military. Political circumstances made it almost impossible for people to diminish the military budget (or be seen as "soft on our enemies"), but it certainly is no law or amendment I know of.
There aren't actually any spending area of the US government that is constitutionally better than another.
Constitutions, by definition, restrict governmental power because they dictate what government can and cannot do. We have to understand the intent of those who wrote it in order to understand why it's written the way it is. Understanding that can help us to interpret what the broad clauses mean with respect to which actions the clauses restrict or do not restrict.
The danger, of course, is that people will pick select quotes from the few founders who agree with their own preferred interpretation of it.
You could, for example, point to something Madison said about the general welfare clause. Because you agree with Madison on the point, you would hold up his opinion as high authority of what the general welfare clause means. I could point to Alexander Hamilton who reads the general welfare clause very broadly. Who wins?
Both guys signed the Constitution as delegates of their states. Does one opinion have weight over the other? How about the opinions of the people at each state's constitutional convention who voted in favor of the Constitution, including its general welfare clause? How much do their opinions count? Do they count more?
We're left with conflicting authority. We're left with a poorly-written sentence. We're left with never knowing with any certainty what it means.
We can know that it has to mean something. Those who want to say it grants no power at all are the ones throwing out the Constitution by trying to ignore a part they do not like. It's pretty clear it grants some power. Congress has the power to provide for the general welfare. Whatever general welfare means, Congress is certainly granted the power to provide for it, so ignoring that is as silly as ignoring the power to tax.