Wednesday, February 16, 2005
How Can Someone Be So Full Of... ?
Citizens Against Government Waste, a group that monitors government spending,
has designated Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as the
co-porkers of the month for February because of their opposition to President
George W. Bush's budget reforms of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
Holy fuck, Batman! Two senators fights for a $3.7 billion program in a $2.57 trillion budget and they're suddenly the biggest thing in pork-barrel politics in any particular month? That is quite possibly the most useless and unnecessary partisan attack concerning the budget that I've ever seen. Let's put things in perspective. On one hand, Clinton and Schumer have asked to protect a pet program that represents approximately 0.15% of the federal budget. On the other hand, discretionary non-defense spending increased by 30% during Bush's first term, and Bush's "tough" 2006 budget decreases that spending by a whopping 0.5%. And let's not even talk about the bullshit tactic of conveniently neglecting to add in the costs of the War On Terror:
But [budget director Josh Bolton] said including further additional
spending for Iraq and Afghanistan "wouldn't be responsible" because it would
represent guesses on what will be needed.
Ah, but those guesses will surface into a pretty concrete request right after the regular budget passes Congress, I'm sure. And then there's the issue of reconstruction funds. While Citizens Against Government Waste "contends that the taxpayer is the one 'left out in the cold,' while paying the billions associated with a program that has no accountability", there's the little issue of the $8 billion in funds missing from Iraqi oil revenues during US rule.
Now, please don't get me wrong - Sen. Clinton and Sen. Schumer collectively bring me about as much joy as rectal bleeding. But to single them out for the reason described above is, when viewed in the grand scheme of things, totally laughable. Unless you're me, in which case it's just infuriating. Nowadays, those two emotions are often indistinguishable when discussing politics.