Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised the charitable pork idea on the Senate floor last week, although he stopped short of endorsing it.
So, how about it, Mr. Chairman?
"They can kiss my ear!" Young boomed when Sam Bishop, Washington correspondent for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, asked him about the many pleas to redirect the bridge money.
"That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard," Young went on, noting that Louisiana did quite well in his highway bill.
And, the congressman said, he helped the seafood industry donate more than $500,000 for hurricane victims. (That was at the "Seafood Invitational," a charity golf tournament Sept. 9 in Roslyn, Wash., Bishop reported Friday.)
"I raised enough money to give back to them voluntarily," he said, "and that's it!"
. . . and yet not really surprised: After all, Tom DeLay thinks they have done such a marvelously heroic job of cutting the budget that there's no more to cut, which apparently means we're doomed to $400-billion budget deficits until we can somehow find a way to get a Democrat back in the White House. It is absolutely imperative that the people of Gravina, Alaska (pop. 50), have a $223 million bridge to Ketchikan. Just because we've got a new barren wasteland in southeastern Louisiana is no excuse to ignore the other barren wastelands that need tending to!
So anyway, it looks as though cutting even the silliest, most blatantly overpriced bits of pork out of the budget is more or less an impossibility at this point. So let me ask y'all this: Would it really be a sin for someone to suggest that the most recent Bush tax cut be suspended at least until New Orleans can be set back on its feet again?
I know I'm going to be pilloried as a tax-and-spend liberal for even suggesting this, but as I've said before, tax-and-spend liberal still sounds way better than a don't-tax-but-spend-anyway conservative, which even Bush's most ardent supporters are beginning to admit that he is. We've had our largest city, a global financial center, punched in the mouth by a massive terrorist attack; we're (allegedly) trying to occupy and rebuild not one but two countries overseas; and now we've got an entire region of the U.S. underwater. All of these crises, and not so much as one suggestion, from either the Democrats or the Republicans on Capitol Hill, that the current tax cuts just aren't feasible. When is somebody going to grow some balls and say straight out that we can't continue this way, and that taxes are going to have to go back up sooner or later? When somebody does, are the anti-tax conservatives just going to burn them at the stake?
If any of you libertarians or libertarian-wannabe-but-still-voted-for-Bush people can convince me that nothing's wrong, the red ink is somehow going to be stanched, and my children and grandchildren aren't going to end up paying for the Freddy Krugeresque tax-slashing we've witnessed for the past five years, make your case, give me a good reason to calm down, and I'll sleep at night happy in the knowledge that, fiscally, things aren't actually as bad as they look right now. But I just don't think anyone can do it.
Oh, and by the way: "They can kiss my ear"? Rep. Young, you're not only one greedy son of a bitch, but you're a Price Club economy-sized dork.