Copperfield and Chris Angel have Nothing on These Guys

I was over reading Coup D’etat’s blog a bit ago and she had an interesting post about the bailout bill. It seems that there were some things in that bill that no one wanted to talk about. I certainly hadn’t heard about it before. It made me annoyed enough to decide this was my topic for tonight. I didn’t have enough free time to research a big topic anyway. So the point of this post is that I want a bill to be only a bill, and nothing else…

So all of us that are politically minded had one eye on the Senate last night as we waited to see what would happen with the auto bailout bill. Thankfully the Republicans in the Senate grew a pair and stood their ground. But Revolution2010 wanted to get more answers. She found that there was a “Section 19” in the bill that effectively raised the cost of living adjustment in pay for Justices and Judges. And I think she accurately pointed out that this could be there as an incentive for judges and justices to not strike down the bill should it be challenged. They wouldn’t give themselves a pay cut, after all. 

This isn’t about whether the judges should be getting a pay increase anyway. The point is that even in times of “financial crisis”, Congress still cannot seem to simply address the issue without adding a bunch of junk to the bill. We saw this when the 700 billion dollar bailout was found to actually be over 800 billion tax dollars. It seemed in order to save the country financially, we also needed tons of pork, giving tax breaks to movie studios, and all kinds of other pork. Over 100 billion in other pork.

And too many people seem to be OK that this is the status quo in Congress. No one seems to want to make it stop. Go back and read just about any major bill you would like. Every one of them includes stuff like this, stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with what the bill is about. Stuff added on for political reasons or to gain support. Every Congress member seems to have a “what’s in this bill for me” disposition. It doesn’t matter what the bill is, it contains pork or something like this. 

It is time for this nonsense to stop. I think that this practice should be outlawed. It is deceitful and dishonest. It is taking advantage of the taxpayers who are too apathetic to pay attention. 

See, whatever Congress decides to pass should, in my opinion, do so on its own merits. There was no debate on any of this stuff. It continues because it allows Congress members to fleece us while at the same time giving them plausible deniability. They get to say to constituents that I was opposed to the auto bailout, but we needed to get the justices taken care of. Or the converse, I don’t think the justices deserved a COLA increase, but the auto bailout bill was far to important to be dropped because of this one small part of it. 

I am throwing the bullshit flag right now and right here. We are getting screwed in the deal on every bill that crosses from Congress to the White House. I think we need an amendment to the Constitution that clearly states that there can be nothing in a bill passed in Congress that is not directly relevant to the main issue of the bill.

No more pork. No more “deals”. No more buying the vote by adding something in. If the main topic is good enough that you believe it is the right thing for the country, you vote yes. If not, vote no. Plain and simple. It is stuff like this that is the cause of a 14% Congress approval rating. It is stuff like this that is the reason why every single incumbent in Congress should be voted out. We need to take back the reigns and steer this country to a better place.

Am I wrong on this one?


  1. I agree. This would be a simple fix (in the taxpayers mind)but what would this do to the system itself. Please do not think that I agree with pork. I think it is totally unlawful but how do you fix it?

  2. lingeringmethane says:

    It is an easy fix both in the tax payers minds and the law makers, they just choose not to exercise it. It called a line item veto. It just needs to be done, they have taken this too far.

  3. revolution2010 says:

    If you think this is interesting and really want to get yourself all cranked up, read my latest post The Mayor’s Are Headed to the Buffet! It is just as aggrevating. I have kind of made it my mission to expose them… tell everyone you know.
    I would really love to see every incumbent voted out in the next couple of election… Coup D’etat by Monkey Wrench!!!!!

  4. Lingering. The line item veto would be a good solution, however, the pork addicts in Congress are never going to let that happen. They cannot stop their gravy train. I was just looking at a 2007 bill that had something to do with housing that had over 2400 earmarks on it. On ONE bill. I wish that was an exception, but it is sadly the norm. I can send you the spreadsheet if you want to see it. It is unbelievable. We have to start getting people to pay attention to this kind of stuff. They are raping without lube at this point and frankly, I would at least like some sweet talk before I am violated.

  5. Revolution,

    A noble mission, indeed. I just read the piece that you wrote. Very good one. I am so fired up over this stuff that I am afraid I will go on a tangent and write about nothing but earmarks for a month. The more I dig, the more I find. It is fascinating the sheer amount of stuff attached to every single bill. The bailout was simply the norm, unfortunately.

  6. lingeringmethane says:

    I know that congress will never let it happen. The right thing to do is never their way! That is where we step in.
    First we need to actively pursue our rep.’s Let them know that we are watching and it is not ok. I hope Mikulski and Cardin are tired of seeing my letters and e-mails and seeing my name on their call list

    Second we need to sign petitions and if it takes another sandwich sign or two thousand so be it.

    Third we need get rid of all those pork lovers in D.C. They need to be exposed and voted out and replaced with fresh meat.

    I try to engage in political conversation with everyone I see, most people think that I am obsessed but I am just passionate and fed up with the irresponsible actions of the upper crust that we call our representatives. Harry Ried’s comment about smelling the tourists still yanks my crawl! I work with a bunch of left wing socialists and the one thing that they agree with me on is the line item veto.
    The facts are that if anyone had a balance sheet like the federal governments they would be FIRED and would have an extremly hard time finding any kind of work there after, why should they be held to a different standard?

  7. Lingering,

    Just a side conversation here. I am all for letting our reps know that we are watching. Do you believe that we can actually impact things that way? I am not saying we can’t, I have just been debating it in my head lately. Because you and I might be watching, but the vast majority of America can’t turn off “the Hills” long enough to dial a phone. I am also having conversations with everyone. I want to make a difference.

    What i am getting at is how we can really make a difference. I think I am going to write a post about this subject and start getting people to talk about how we can really impact things. Can we get our thoughts in a widely viewed place for many to see? Is there a better way? I figure if enough of us brainstorm the idea, we can perhaps come up with some ways that can make a difference in a year or two in time for the 2010 elections rather than in 20 years. Do you think it is a post worth writing?

  8. How about v-blogging guys? Video or animation that graphically expresses our ideas. I have a video company (which is dormant rihgt now due to our camera needing repair and tight funds) that was dedicated to internet video content. I still have the editing tools and so forth, and some of the expertise. And I ahve some ideas. Perhaps we can start with a basic concept, try to package what we want to say in a concise and high impact manner, start converting it to some sort of graphical format, and then we can do some combined fake hits on it and get it ranked on the major sites like youtube. If you wonder how some of the dumber vids get so high up in “popularity”, its because some kids make something and get all of their friends to hit it over and over. It works, because once its high profile, it gets hit even more. It will take planning and some major work, but we could pull something like that off as a collective of people who are not physically near each other. We just have to be organized and make sure we put out something that accomplishes our goals and is entertaining. If it flies, then we can do more of them. Its an idea I have had for a while, but I need a large enough number of people on board to pull it off, and I need help with developing content, I dont have the time or creativity on my own, I work better in a group effort.
    Just a thought, let me know if this is all just because I am drinking too much coffee….

  9. Jon,

    Have you joined Bureaucrash Social yet? There you would find a lot of people willing to do videos and “hit” the ones you make. No one wants to see me or hear my voice, although there is already an interview of me out there.

  10. I have now Kent, thanks. 🙂

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