How to Remove the Pork from the Fiscal Cliff Bill
The Fiscal Cliff Bill, officially the “Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012,” prevented an income-tax rate increase for 98% of Americans. That’s the good part. The bad part is that it was passed at the 11th hour, and it was loaded with pork for rum producers, electric scooter riders, Hollywood, motorsport race track owners, and algae growers.
According to Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner, the pork is in part the handiwork of lobbyists and former Sens. John Breaux, D-LA, and Trent Lott, R-Miss. These good ol’ boys were hired by their clients, including GE and Citigroup, to insert pork in the HR8 bill last summer. (HR8 is the precursor to the Fiscal Cliff Bill.) According to Carney, several other less-well-known lobbyists also lined up to stick their clients’ snouts in the feeding trough.
In the past few days, Congressmen and pundits all across the political spectrum have been wringing their hands about those awful pork provisions, wailing that our beleaguered Congress had no choice because there was no time to draft another bill without the pork, so the pork had to be passed too.
To that “explanation” and to the pork itself, we should all shout baloney! This lunacy is eminently reversible.
Draft another bill, call it the First Pork Reduction Act of 2013, that vacates each and every pork provision in the Fiscal Cliff bill. Then let’s see who in the House, Senate, or White House dares to vote against pork removal. If any of them were to do so, we’d know for the next election exactly where they stand on pork.
If Congress would begin attacking pork with specific, ad hoc legislation that calls it out and cancels it, the publicity for the pork’s sponsor(s) would be hugely and appropriately embarrassing. Maybe then Congressmen would be less inclined to put pork in these bills to begin with, and lobbyists would have to find another way to make a living. And wouldn’t that be nice?
Come on Congress, do your job. You’re supposed to be looking out for us and our dollars. Attack the pork directly with the tools you have, and quit squealing like a stuck pig about how you’re all victims of “the process”.