The TARP is already working!

September 26, 2008

The TARP has already bailed out lawmakers’ consciences!  (for more, see my previous related post)

The New York Times:

“Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group, calculates that earmarks account for $6.6 billion of the omnibus bill’s cost, which totals more than $630 billion.”

As much as I usually obsess over corruption and as impressive as $6.6 billion of backscratching is, the fact that the TARP exceeds the omnibus spending bill by $70 billion is shocking.  Maybe when Congress finishes with their modified version, they’ll have it up to an even trillion with the usual 1% backscratching commission.

And how does this relate to the TARP really?  Just ask your elected officials!

“Mr. Murtha told reporters that earmarks were just a tiny fraction of “what the administration wants to bail out those rich guys in New York.”

Other lawmakers said the earmarks were a way of tossing a few bones to Main Street, before the Treasury pours hundreds of billions of dollars onto Wall Street.

“This all may seem a little trivial in a week that we may approve $700 billion,” said Representative Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, who has led the campaign against earmarks.

I very much appreciate the logic that if Paulson is going to throw away $700 billion to his pals, we should care less that Congress is throwing out a few tens of billions to their pals.  I mean, a victim of a $7,000 bank fraud can certainly afford to lose another $40 in a mugging.

““Earmarks should ultimately go away and be replaced by a merit-based process of grant allocation,” Mr. Murphy [Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat from Connecticut] said in an interview” [... after getting part of at least a $15 million earmark]

I really should stop drinking.  Maybe after this beer…

And here are your Congressional All-Stars!

“Senator Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican who is on trial just a few blocks from the Capitol, appears to have gotten more earmarks than anyone else: 39 items totaling $238.5 million”

He’s like the fucking Terminator!  He is a month away from being found guilty for falsely reporting gifts, and he’s still kicking back $238.5 million like it ain’t shit!  You can’t stop him!  I hope some of those earmarks went to refurbishing our nation’s prisons.

Another perennial All-Star:

“Representative John P. Murtha, Democrat of Pennsylvania, was the apparent winner in the House, with 30 items totaling $111 million…”

He’s like Jordan in the early ’90s.  Years from now we’ll be telling our grandchildren that we got to see John Murtha drop over $100 million in earmarks to Pennsylvania businesses, shrugging as if to say even he couldn’t believe how good he was.

“Senator Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri, obtained $800,000 for the Pentagon to spend on a drug treatment for a skin condition, pseudofolliculitis barbae, popularly known as shaving bumps or razor bumps. The drug is made by a small pharmaceutical company in the St. Louis area.

“The Defense Department has long recognized pseudofolliculitis barbae as a serious dermatological condition that disproportionately affects African-American and Hispanic men, and up to 33 percent of active-duty military men,” said Shana Marchio, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bond. This condition not only causes painful lesions but also “affects combat readiness and personal safety,” by making it more difficult for men to use gas masks and oxygen masks, Ms. Marchio said.

As reporters and Congressional staff began to chuckle, Ms. Marchio could no longer contain her own laughter.  Several minutes of backslapping and uproarious laughter ensued, only to be interrupted by the start of one of Senator Bond’s famously impulsive ‘money fights'”

One paragraph in that lengthy previous quotation from The Onion, I mean The New York Times, is fictional.  JUST ONE!  And only because I can’t prove it.

(I’m sorry that I’m making every post about the TARP, but it is huge news.  I mean, the government doesn’t give away $700 billiion to select campaign contributors and friendly businesses every day.  Probably only twice a year.  Tops.)

… and the cow goes moo (if it pleases God-King Paulson)

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