Saturday, June 27, 2009

Brewster's Millions Plays Out in Congress

Is it really so much to ask of our legislators that they actually READ a document before they vote on it? Is that really such an unreasonable request? And yet they have passed several massive pieces of legislation costing the taxpayers billions, even trillions, without reading what they're voting on.

The cap and trade bill is just one more example. There wasn't even a full, up to date copy of it when it went to the house floor? Why was it so critical to pass immediately that they couldn't even have the written copy completed before voting? David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner confirmed that there was no completed copy of the bill when it went to a vote. Freddoso said; "Through a series of parliamentary inquiries, the Republicans learned that the 300-plus page managers' amendment, added to the bill last night in the House Rules Committee, has not even been been integrated with the official copy of the 1,090-page bill at the House Clerk's desk, let alone in any other location. The two documents are side-by-side at the desk as the clerk reads through the instructions in the 300 page document for altering the 1,090 page document.
But they cannot be simply combined, because the amendment contains 300 pages of items like this: "Page 15, beginning line 8, strike paragraph (11)..." How many members of Congress do you suppose have gone through it all to see how it changes the bill?

Sitting back and watching this play out I'm reminded of the Richard Pryor movie "Brewster's Millions". If you're unfamiliar with the movie, it's a classic and you should watch it, but here is the gist of the plot. Brewster inherits a fortune from a relative, but in order to inherit he has to spend a set amount of that money, millions of it, in a short amount of time. And there's another catch. He has to have nothing to show for the money at the end. Is this sounding at all familiar? Isn't this pretty much what Congress has been doing this year? Spending as much money, as fast as they can, with nothing to show for it in the end. We have to have the stimulus package, no time to read it, too critical to wait, we had to have it so unemployment wouldn't get to 8.5%. And what do we have to show for that vote? And unemployment rate of 9.1% And now we may be getting a tax on air. With of course tons of bureaucracy that will cost us even more than the tax. And what is the government going to do with all of this revenue from all of these taxes? No idea. They haven't said. Maybe it will pay for the bureaucracy they're setting up. But I doubt it.

What I find most laughable about the Brewster comparison though, is that Brewster discovered the fastest way to waste money was to run for elected office. And although the movie is a classic, I'm a bit disturbed that our government is emulating a comedy,

No comments:

Post a Comment