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Friday, September 23, 2005

Who Ya Gonna Call?

It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.

P.J. O’Rourke (1947 - ), U.S. journalist, Parliament of Whores (1991).

A silver lining of the Katrina Disaster is that the various writers in the Blogosphere began to work more closely with one another. After our signal achievement of raising $1,347,493 (and counting) our thoughts naturally turned to other cooperative projects.

President Bush's announcement that New Orleans would be rebuilt with Federal monies, but with no tax hikes and no delay of pending tax cuts sent a shiver through this frugal group. Conservative bloggers began to address one another. They agreed with all three of the President's premises - rebuild historic New Orleans, no new taxes and keep tax cuts. It became obvious that this was no time for business as usual, and was born.

Very simply, visit the Pork Busters page, hosted by the estimable N.Z. Bear, in cooperation with Glen Reynolds of Instapundit and commentator Hugh Hewitt. There is a state-by-state analyis of pork, with links to budget and planning documents, urging the populace to identify more, and add it to the Pork List. For instance, a favorite target is Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). His 'Bridge to Nowhere', connecting an island with 50 homes with a community of Ketchian - at a cost of $300 million. Alaska's grand total is $2,997,483,647. Massachusetts weighs in with a paltry $ 129,508,100.

This is hardly a partisan project. In fact, the only member of Congress who has agreed to sacrifice identified Pork is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Of the Pork attributed to her influence, the only project she insisted on retaining was structural improvements to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Visit the site and poke around. The only project suggested for cuts locally is $3 million for the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Harldy in the mega-bucks category like billionaire Alaska, but still worth reexamining. The state is already paying for some improvements, and further work can be postponed until a time when we are not reeling from the impact to two major storms.

If we do want to help those devastated by hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, we need to find offsets in the Federal budget to free up necessary money. It is the conservative, fiscally responsible thing to do.

Since Congress does not seem capable of finding such cuts, it's only right we should give them a hand - since it's our money.


Blogger Doug said...

Fantastic idea. Regulations cost money, too. Maybe we can hit that next.

1:08 PM  

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