The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Can't They Do Anything Without Spending Gobs Of Money?
Energy crisis? Why it's just a big excuse to spend money!House passes subsidy-rich energy bill
The House voted 246-180 for the bill, which Republicans drafted mainly in secret and which has something for almost everybody, including about $23.5 billion in tax breaks and billions more in straight subsidies to big energy industries, in hopes of spurring domestic fuel production.
The measure's official cost was pegged at $32 billion over 10 years by the Congressional Budget Office, but some independent analysts estimated it as much higher; Taxpayers for Common Sense put it at $95 billion. The discrepancy arises in part because the CBO does not include the potential costs of loan guarantees, and the bill would grant $18 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of an Alaska-to-Chicago natural-gas pipeline.
Senate Republican leaders are counting on the bill's parochial appeal to carry it to victory, but local concerns can cut both ways, and a bipartisan Senate coalition of fiscal conservatives, Northeastern Republicans, environmentalists and consumer advocates vowed to try to block the measure.
They will fail. In Congress, any kind of fiscal responsibility fails.
These people can get themselves so worked up about Enron, but they are doing something far worse.
And they do while our media watchdogs look on approvingly.