I”m not saying it’s wrong to cut spending on health care programs for the elderly, poor and disabled. Sometimes the best way to help people isn’t just to do things for them. I understand that, really.
At the same time, the things you choose to cut and the things you choose to keep do send a message. And the message from today’s politicians seems to involve a desire for most of the electorate to move themselves elsewhere in a sexual manner. Exhibit A, the so-called a bridge form nowhere much in Alaska to whatever you would call a place with much less than 1% of the population of ‘nowhere much, Alaska’. This will connect two towns with a bridge comparable in scale to the Golden Gate or Brooklyn Bridges. The Senator in charge of pork-ladeling for the project, Republican Ted Stevens, threatened to resign, and quite possibly take his ball home, if he didn’t get a sufficiently generous helping of crackling.
I particularly like this quote: “If one senator can decide he’ll take all the money from one state to solve a problem of another, that is not a union. That is not equality.” Well, if they were actually trying to take all the money, as opposed to just the part being used to build a ludicrously wasteful bridge, then you might have a point. Except you wouldn’t, because not shifting money from a project that makes coopers everywhere reconsider the true scale of pork barrels to a project that would help fellow citizens recover from the biggest natural disaster in the history of the nation demonstrates that we’re just a bunch of States sitting next to each other, rather than a union.
To clarify. Cut money from old people to reduce the deficit? Defensible (whether right or wrong). Take money from the poor to give it to the rich in tax cuts? Barely, barely defensible (whether right or wrong). Take money from the disabled to build a bridge so insultingly expensive that it would be cheaper to buy everyone on Gravina island a LearJet? Indefensible (and wrong).
Oh, in case you’re planning a drive across the bridge that you’ll so handsomely pay for, you’d better rent a car once you’re there. Sadly you can’t drive to it, as it’s not connected to the rest of the US by road.