Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Self-bribing Government

We make jokes about the corruption and bribery that goes on in Washington, but reality is that not all of the bribes come from lobbyists and corporations, the biggest bribes come from Congress itself. Those bribes are called “markups” in legislation, and they are insertions into legislation designed to persuade individual senators to vote in favor of the legislation.

The tax bill reached as a compromise between Obama and Mitch McConnell has been larded with $43 billion in such insertions, and will pass as a result of them. The “health care reform” bill last year consisted almost entirely of such insertions.

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, for instance, was opposed to the tax compromise bill until a provision was added to it that would extend tax credits for builders in her state to rebuild in the aftermath of a hurricane which devastated that state five years ago. Presumably, the casinos would not be rebuilt unless tax credits were given to the builders to do so because casinos are so unprofitable, you know. Once that provision, benefiting her state alone, was added she agreed to vote in favor of the legislation.

“Gee, Senator, I see you’re voting against the bill. How about if we add some spending to the bill that will help you get reelected? Will that persuade you to vote for the bill?” How is that not bribery?

Meanwhile, every working person in the entire nation has just contributed cash out of their paychecks to the reelection campaign of the Senator from Louisiana, whether they wanted to or not. Is this a great country, or what?

No comments:

Post a Comment