Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pork patrol: There's a lot of much deserved scrutiny on pork-barrel politics these days, particularly the recently passed transportation bill, in light of the ever expanding price tag of rebuilding a post-Katrina Gulf Coast. I'm all for turning off congress' pork spigot, and many of those in the blogosphere are not johnny-come-latelys to the issue. But it makes me uncomfortable to hear people in the media to suddenly be claiming X should be done because of Katrina or cut because of it. It just has too much of the old "for the children" ring to it.

Stupid wasteful pork barrel projects are stupid and wasteful regardless of any natural disaster. Worthwhile projects are worthwhile regardless of same. Fighting in Iraq is no more or less a good idea because New Orleans got a bath and Don Young's "bridge to nowhere" was gluttonous a month ago. But I wasn't hearing a lot of talk about pork projects on CNN a month ago.

I'm happy with just about anything that exposes wasteful spending, but I'm not comfortable with using Katrina as a big wet towel with which to snap the backsides of politicians on either side of the aisle. When disaster slips from our national consciousness the cries for fiscal discipline will still be coming from Stephen Moore. But will anyone still be listening.

No comments: