If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

12 August 2005

Oh, say it isn't so...

My buddy Joe, who runs a members-only website for business travelers, flagged this story this week -- a pathetically sad reality tale of government spending woe, which (as if the crappy moist August weather wasn't sufficient) is enough to make me want to crawl into the fetal position and sit in a dark padded room moaning for my mommy for days on end.

This isn't a Bush-bashing, specifically. It's a system-bashing. Bush was just the guy with the pen to sign the bill this week. It's the whole political and money system that's broken: as much as I love to pick on Bush, he's the result - not necessarily the cause - of the insidious disease.

Here, verbatim, from Joe in his 'weekly recap': "President Bush signed the $286.5 billion transportation bill this week and critics were horrified by the number of pork-laden local road projects. The two most notable bacon-soaked items are $223 million for the Gravina Island bridge and another $229 million for the Knik Arm Bridge. Both projects are in the Alaska district of Don Young, the chairman of the House Transportation Infrastructure Committee. The Gravina Island project will link the 8,000 residents of the city of Ketchikan with the 50 people on Gravina Island. Also on Gravina Island: Ketchikan Airport, which offers a dozen scheduled flights a day and is currently linked to the city by a 7-minute ferry ride. As currently planned, the 2-mile-long Gravina span will be nearly as long as the Golden Gate Bridge and higher than the Brooklyn Bridge. The Knik Arm Bridge would link Anchorage with Port MacKenzie, which has just one tenant. In contrast to Young's $452 million bridges, the nation has spent a total of $115 million on mass-transit security since 9/11. Mass-transit systems in the United States carry an estimated 14 million riders a day."

Oh, my. Is it just me, or is that the moon turning red with the ominousness of impending self-inflicted doom?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In hopes of encouraging you not to begin drinking Kool-Aid just yet, look at this from a different perspective.

All I know about this subject is what is in the quote, but consider this. The amount going for the bridges in Alaska is 0.16% of the entire bill. I would guess that Alaskans pay more than 0.16% of the nation's taxes. Assuming the bridges are important to Alaskans, is it really that crazy to let them spend "their" money on what they have determined they need?

Just a thought,

Your Buddy

10:58 PM  

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