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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Jerry Jackson: More pork and more McDaniel

  • Do we need any further evidence that the president and congress will never get serious on containing government spending?
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  • Do we need any further evidence that the president and congress will never get serious on containing government spending?  Look no further than the recent flap over federal aid to victims of hurricane Sandy.
                Democrat and Republican congress people from the Northeast were all set to pass a 60 billion dollar aid package until some of these nasty Republicans got in the way.  Speaker Boehner is taking all kinds of heat from Democrats and some Republicans for trying to insert just a small amount of caution and common sense into this governmental giveaway.
                Before you dismiss these comments as coming from a heartless conservative consider this:  the insurance industry has estimated losses from Sandy as being about 20 billion dollars while our Northeastern friends are asking for 60 billion.  Even in these days of trillion dollar deficits and debts, 60 billion dollars is still a lot of moula.
                Using some degree of reasonableness Speaker Boehner herded through congress a 9.7 billion deal that allows the national flood insurance program to keep paying out claims.  This government program is virtually the only source of flood insurance available in the U.S.
                This program has provided flood insurance since the 1960’s because private sector insurance view floods as too unpredictable, but this program has been in financial trouble, having borrowed billions from the treasury in recent years to pay claims.
                When this mammoth bill was introduced, the Republicans sought to cut federal expenses in other areas.  The response to this from our Democrat friends was, “are you kidding me?”  Since when does our modern day federal government attempt to offset additional spending with savings from some other source?  Are you some kind of Neanderthal or what?
                When the Republicans abandoned this type of childish logic, they decided to look into the guts of this proposed legislation.  Well what do you know; they found a tremendous amount of pork.  For every dollar of relief to flood victims they found almost two dollars of “help” to others unrelated.  When you consider government waste and inefficiency, this means that for every six dollars provided by the taxpayers about one dollar goes to benefit flood victims.
                Now comes the giant of the Senate, the Unhonorable Harry Reid.  In order to bolster this grab of taxpayers’ funds by his northeastern buddies, Mr. Reid strolls to the podium of the Senate and declares that yes, Katrina was bad for the Gulf folks, but it was nothing compared to the devastation to New York and New Jersey by hurricane Sandy.  The victims and the general populace of Louisiana and Mississippi were furious.
    Page 2 of 3 -             A few fact checkers audited his remarks and found that Katrina took more than ten times as many lives, more than ten times the number of structures were destroyed and according to the Insurance Information Institute the insured loss for Katrina was 48.7 billion dollars compared to a loss of 18.8 billion for Sandy.  Not one of our liberal main stream media challenged these obvious lies, but instead attacked Boehner for delaying the vote on the rest of the 60 billion request.  Facing extreme pressure Boehner has now scheduled the vote for January 15th.  Naturally the Democrat Senate and our president are anxiously waiting House action so more federal pork can be given.
                And did you know the fiscal cliff legislation that finally passed was also loaded with pork?  Some of the narrowly targeted provisions are tax credits for electric motorcycles, tax breaks for owners of NASCAR racetracks, new tax credits for biofuels derived from algae?  Don’t forget the tax rebates to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for rum imported to the U.S.  These are just a few.
                On and on it goes with one senator or congressman agreeing to a give-away benefiting one state in consideration for votes for his or her state goodies later in the session.
     
                                                                ********************
     
                As a follow-up on my earlier column on our roaming Casanova, Attorney General McDaniel, a press conference was held to completely clear the air, or so McDaniel hopes.
                He assures us that no other shoe will drop, that there are no other women, and to the relief to all of us, his loyal loving wife has agreed to give him another chance.  He also assures us that no conflict of interest exists and he has not violated any legal codes of conduct for sleeping with the enemy,
                Many of us who have worked in other professions and lines of business are certainly envious that the legal profession is so forgiving and lenient on behavior that would normally be prohibited.  Me thinks there are many attorneys that would be hesitant to agree with McDaniel, the states highest legal officer.
    Page 3 of 3 -             Oh well, leave it to John Brummett, the Dem-Gaz columnist who can’t find a liberal he won’t support, summarized it this way, “This experience might actually provide a valuable gantlet, a worthy test for a man who would presume to contend for higher political office.  His news conference performance was an act of some political skill and political daring.”
    There, I’m sure we all feel better now and we should be ashamed if we initially thought McDaniel’s indiscretions and apparent conflict of interest were somehow indicative of character flaws.

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