This is how far we've come in this spending binge:
A congressman — on this show — bragging that the latest stimulus package they're working on has only $10 billion of pork. And Congressman Chaka Fattah — a lovely gentleman — said that I should be impressed.
Only $10 billion in earmarks? Not bad for a $410 billion spending package. That's on top of a nearly $800 billion stimulus package… which is on top of a, likely, trillion dollar financial rescue package.
Lots of packages. And here I am arguing over such a tiny package.
I guess the congressman's right: In the scheme of things, $10 billion does seem like chump change. But there was a time when $10 billion bought you a war, or built you an entire highway system, or got you a substantial down payment on getting to the moon.
But that was then. This is now.
And now, $10 billion is better suited paying for things far less grandiose. Like $59 million for Pacific salmon management. Or $250,000 for security cameras in Pennsylvania. Or $150,000 for theater renovations in Idaho.
I suppose when you're spending hundreds of billions, who cares about $400,000 earmarked to combat bullying — I guess unless you were getting bullied. Or $200,000 for tattoo removal.
Chump change, I guess. And even the president seems to be saying I’m a chump for making a big deal of it.
But consider this: Those projects I just mentioned represent but $60 million of the $10 billion Congressman Fattah admitted was earmark stuff.
Pray tell, what other stuff have I missed? Have we all missed?
And what has come of us when our leaders brag about keeping waste down to $10 billion in a package?
If that's progress my friends, please tell me the definition of something else: failure.
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