There ain’t no way any of the lawmakers voting for the $790 billion stimulus package today could have read, comprehended, and analyzed the implications of the pork-filled 1000-plus pages of giveaways to just about every special interest, especially since it was reportedly only posted on a website at 12:00 a.m. this morning. Even the army of Hill staffers would have been hard-pressed even to print out and divvy up the paper.
As my colleague Iain Murray noted this morning:
Just a thought off the top of my head; how about an amendment to Article I, Section 7 that reads:
Before voting on any Bill, a Senator or Representative shall certify to the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House respectively that they have read the Bill in full.
Or something like that?
This is inspired by Tom Coburn pointing out that to read the porkulus bill in its entirety out aloud would take the Senate Clerk 31.5 hours. Yet this monstrosity is going to be foisted on the American public today. The contempt for the legislative process is shocking.
Okay – so it’s likely that nobody has read the stimulus package in its entirety. Then how do they know what to vote on? Betcha’ the special interests made sure they took their separate wish lists and legislative language to their favorite politicians. The enviros probably could care less about funding for the new agency that will be rationing health care. They’re just concerned with the billions upon billions for alternative energy projects and conservation credits. The iron and steel producers just love the massive funding for infrastructure – the roads and bridges to nowhere – as long as a “Buy American” clause is in the bill. The urbanites will get increases in food and nutrition programs, while rural residents will get broadband.
Since the pork is being dished out widely and indiscriminately, who needs to read the bill? Everybody should be happy – after all, we’re promised that millions of jobs will be created as the money flows through the government agencies. But who’s going to be paying for all this largess? It’s us, the taxpayers today, and tomorrow, and the next.