Tag Archives: fiscal cliff bill

Congressman admits pork is for buying votes


I received an email this morning from Grover G. Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, urging me to “Take Action Now!” to stop Congress from another pork barrel spending:

“The federal government is currently considering an aid package to assist states impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Such efforts have been abused in the past to shuttle wasteful and unnecessary pork barrel spending completely unrelated to the disaster. Congress must ensure each dollar obligated for hurricane relief actually goes to aiding victims—not to political special interests. This means prohibiting any funds from being used to underwrite the inflated costs of labor agreements.”

Of course, despite America’s national debt being over $16.4 TRILLION and increasing by each tick of the clock, Congress has already packed plenty of pork (tax break) in the fiscal cliff bill, H.R. 8 “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012“:

  • $430 million for Hollywood
  • $331 million for railroads
  • $222 million for rum for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
  • $70 million for NASCAR
  • $59 million for algae growers!
  • $4 million for electric motorcycle makers

The good news is that alas, lo and behold, we actually have an honest Congressman admitting the real reason for pork!

On Jan. 2, 2013, the morning after the House and Senate approved the fiscal cliff deal,  Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) said this:

“The deal to avert the fiscal cliff which consists of special tax credits for green energy, Hollywood, distilleries and other industries, is a demonstration of Capitol Hill vote buying.”

Translated into plain English, what Congressman Mulvaney said is:

Congress gives away money America doesn’t have so that they’ll be reelected to give away money America doesn’t have.

Mick Mulvaney

To his credit, Mulvaney voted against the fiscal cliff bill. This is the statement he gave explaining why:

“I am extremely disappointed with the passage of H.R. 8 last night, the so-called “fiscal cliff” agreement.

Quite simply, the agreement raises spending. Again. Indeed, its passage seems to reaffirm a disturbing truth about today’s Washington: compromises always lead to more spending, and more debt. Last night we added $330,000,000,000 to the national debt with new spending programs. At best, we have no plan for ever repaying that money; at worst, we have no intention to ever pay it back.

“Borrowing” money without intending to ever pay it back is not debt. It is theft. It is what we have been doing for too long in Washington. And instead of turning the tide last night, we continued our lazy ride toward inevitable financial ruin.

The President lauded the deal as a “balanced approach.” To me, a balanced approach means 1) more revenue and 2) less spending. The fact that the President, or indeed, for that matter, anyone, considers more revenue and more spending to be “balanced” – is truly frightening. If that is the “balance” the President wants, I want none of it.

Yes, the agreement locks in the current tax rates for many Americans. It also provided a welcomed fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax, and very real improvements in the Death Tax provisions. And I understand why many of my colleagues found those provisions to be attractive. Indeed, if this bill had been just about the taxes, I may well have been able to support it. However, “trading” increased spending and deficits for lower taxes is not a plan for compromise, it is a formula for economic collapse.

Also lost in the flurry of excitement over averting the fiscal cliff have been the literally dozens of special interest tax carve-outs for everything from wind energy to Hollywood movie production. Crony capitalism, it seems, is alive and well in Washington.

This is wrong. It has to stop. We are spending ourselves into national decline. We had a chance last night to stop that, even if just for a bit. We failed. And by doing so, we failed the country.

H/t FOTM’s Stephanie O.