Please see the updated article on Sandy relief. The House will vote on funds to be expended in 2013 on Friday, January 4.
The maxim about never letting a crisis go to waste reared its head in a federal bill aimed at providing aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The U.S. Senate is expected to take up the bill today. At 94 pages, the bill is written in typical bureaucratic language enabling pork and waste along with necessary aid.
This bill is a perfect example of the lack of common sense budgeting and spending skills in the U.S. Senate. Toss in a large measure of government cronyism as well.
The Heritage Foundation pointed out $200 million designated basically as a blank check for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to be used freely at the discretion of the Secretary. There’s also $2 million for fixing the roof at the Smithsonian—the complex is located in Washington, D. C.
Senate appropriators do love their public/private partnerships. What better way to reward one’s supporters? This bill contains pork love for that purpose as well—$20 million for public-private partnerships to “provide long term economic assistance.”
It’s doubtful that people who don’t have a roof over their heads are concerned about the Smithsonian roofs or long term economic assistance.
There’s even $336 million designated for 17 grants to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.
As we like to say in politics, you can’t make this stuff up.
Even in a disaster like Sandy where federal agencies and some large private charities have been ineffective, Senate appropriators still lard up a relief bill with pork.
The Sandy disaster relief bill is another example of pork gone wild and once again illustrates complete lack of accountability with taxpayer money.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama wants more tax hikes on top of the 20 or so he already got.
You can read the text of the bill as it now stands at the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate where you will also notice this body couldn’t even properly format the text for friendly viewing.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Dec. 17, 2012)