Saturday, September 24, 2005

I'm Glad Our Leaders Have Their Priorities Straight

Thanks to my friend Scott, the Largo Housepainter, for sending me this story of Montana Senators Max Baucus and Conrad Burns refusing to even consider returning $4 million in federal funds designated for building a parking garage in Bozeman so that money can be used to fund Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

So many points to make, so little time.

1. It's good to know that pork barrel politics will always be the top priority of Americans, regardless of the circumstances. And I thought giving a bunch of homeland security money to Wyoming and South Dakota was ridiculous.

2. Why in the hell are our tax dollars going to fund parking garages in Bozeman anyway? Shouldn't that be a locally funded project?

3. While I think Baucus and Burns are laughable as real leaders, I do have to say one thing that is sort of in their defense. While we should not be using our tax dollars to pay for parking garages, we also should not have to eviscerate what's left of the government's role in helping Americans on an everyday basis in order to take care of this tragedy. We could have all the parking garages we wanted if we would just repeal the Bush tax cuts. But ultimately, Americans care more about their tax rates than any single other thing in the world. Does anyone think that a national referendum asking Americans to raise their taxes, even temporarily, to fund reconstruction efforts, would have a shot in hell of passing? No way. As a nation, we still have no understanding of what it takes to have a functioning government and to provide the services demanded by the American people. Thus record deficits.