A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Cutting the Pork

Heard an interesting discussion a few days ago about how easy it is to ADD things to the federal budget, and how hard it is to ELIMINATE things from the federal budget. Any individual congressman or senator can proprose additional projects-- mostly pork-- but no individual congressman or senator can cut anything from the budget. For that matter, no individual anywhere can cut anything from the budget. Not even the President.

All the President can do is veto the whole bloody thing. So, much as I am leery of giving President Bush more authority, this seems like a really good idea. With the line item veto, Bush could have scratched out Ted Stevens' precious bridge to nowhere with a simple flick of his pen. How sweet would that be? With the line item veto, Bush could say ixnay on federal funding for things like bike paths (why does the federal government have any connection to bike paths?).

If you think about it, the concept makes a LOT of sense-- Congress is made up of lots of individuals representing small bits of the country. They have some obligation to the country as a whole, sure, but their main obligation is to the small bit of the country they represent. Only the President is responsible to everyone-- to the entire country, so logically he should be the individual capable of saying "No, this project might be great, but it is a local special interest project, and should not be funded with taxpayer money from the 98% of the country that couldn't care less about it."

Heck, even John Kerry is in favor of the line item veto! John McCain, George Bush and John Kerry all agreeing on something-- it's either a long overdue no-brainer of an idea, or a sign that the apocalypse is nigh.


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