When I was growing up and going through the public school system I was taught how this great nation of ours was formed on things called bills and laws, some of which included amendments. And one of the first things we learned about was how laws are made. They start simply with an idea based on what people say they need or, worse yet, what corporations dictate they want. Either way this idea will be scratched out into a bill by either the House or the Senate, then the vetting process begins and the push for approval takes on a carnival like atmosphere. Bills are often lumped in with other things that have nothing to do with the original bill. You and I call it pork, and pork is what’s needed to get bills that may make good sense passed into law.
For instance, the government is back to work -- hooray! But in order to do that, the folks in D.C. had to pass a law to raise the debt ceiling and get us running again. So it would make perfect sense that an additional $2.2 billion was approved along with this bill for a river dam project in Mitch McConnell’s state of Kentucky, right? Wait ... what?
Our nation is shut down and in order to get it rolling again we’ve got to lump in a $2.2 billion spending allotment for a river project in Kentucky? That wasn’t the only thing, in there. Frank Lautenberg, a senator from New Jersey, served this country for three decades. Well, he passed away in June and normally Congress approves a death benefit of a year’s salary, which I agree with ... except for this time, because Lautenberg was worth approximately $60 million at the time of his death. Not that he didn’t serve his country but his country could have used the $174,000 for something else; maybe a plaque would have been a better choice.
Again, these are the things that get stuffed into critical legislation that we need in order to keep our country moving forward. But when we’re dealing with laws that are for the betterment of ... well, us, I frankly get upset when it’s loaded with unnecessary piles of stuff that comes from the back end of a bull. Say we dumb our thinking down to everyday life and apply it to stuff we do every day and ran it like our House and Senate: In order to mow my lawn, my neighbor would have to agree to make breakfast for somebody in New Hampshire and my police department would be required to get their cars from Dealer A as opposed to Dealer B. And then once that is complete it’s turned back to me to mow the lawn, but now I’ve got to negotiate the price of gas because it’s gone up. Was that hard to follow? Of course it was! It was impossible, because if you get home and the lawn needs mowing, you grab a lawn mower and just do it (or grab a capable child to do it).
This pork logic is outta control and frankly it really is souring our nation. Unfortunately, most people just see things that make sense go away without understanding that pork is what killed it. Well, it’s time to wake up and pay attention.
When Barrack Obama was running for office in 2008 the number one thing the United States wanted was health care. Poll after poll showed this issue above any other issue had a commanding lead over everything else. So Obama drew up the bill, but before he got into office ... economic collapse! Well guess what everyone got focused on? Yup, the economy, stupid. And I understand that; you don’t put a Band-Aid on a paper cut when your leg has been cut off.
But the amount of pork loaded into a bill in order to get them passed, means the very reason they were brought up in the first place gets lost. Well, I’ve kinda had it! I’m really tired of $2.2 billion spending allotments getting pushed into a bill so we can get our nation moving again. And we all know that on its own it would probably fall flat on its face! What the hell is up with that?