Selective rage. Played out before TV cameras capturing it all today. Politicians furious, absolutely furious, over the $165 million in bonuses doled out by AIG that represent less than a percent of the $175 billion taxpayers have spent bailing out AIG.
But not a peep about double that percentage in pork in that $410 billion spending bill. So two percent is nothing. One percent is something. Two percent of our money going to pork is no big deal. One percent of our money going to bonus pork is a big deal. $165 million: big deal; nearly $8 billion: no big deal.
No deal. Makes no sense. Here's why: Pork is pork. Waste is waste. Abuse is abuse. As offensive when bank execs steal it, as when politicians try to hide it. You can't rail against one and ignore the other. Better to ignore both, because you can't have it both ways.
If you say the wasted government spending bill amounts to a rounding error, then the comparatively smaller waste at AIG doesn't even round itself to an error. What is in error is the hypocrisy of jumping on a tiny number to suit your cause and ignoring a bigger number because it doesn’t suit your cause.
Both are cause for concern and denunciation. Both abuse taxpayers' money, and taxpayers' sense of fair play. So quit playing games with taxpayers' good money and good senses. Because the only thing worse than blowing your top about abuses you should have seen coming, is not blowing your top about abuses you keep perpetuating.
So save me your rage. And try saving me something else: My money, all our money... now.
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