I've been able to boil down the description of the bill to four words, ably provided by the WP Dad:
“It's a crap sandwich.”
Something that was originally three or four pages is now over four hundred pages, most which not a single Congressman has had the time to wade through to find out what it is they were really going to be voting on. One thing quite obvious about the bill sent to the House from the Senate was the amount of pork packaged into it. Hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars were earmarked for all kinds of projects, none which had anything to do with banking meltdown. I guess too many of our 'representatives' saw this as an opportunity to use even more taxpayer dollars we can ill afford to spend.
A few of the earmarks added by the Senate include:
- $100 million tax breaks for auto racetrack owners.
- $2 million for makers of wooden arrows for children.
- $192 million in rebates for the Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum industry.
- $148 million in tax relief for wool fabric producers.
- $49 million in tax benefits for fishermen and other plaintiffs who sued over the 1989 tanker Exxon Valdez spill.
- $48 million a year for film and TV producers who produce their work in the United States.
More earmarks and tax breaks included in the bill can be found here. Read 'em and weep.
Is there any wonder members of the House were not pleased with the bill they ended up passing? More than a few representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, lambasted the Senate earmarks, feeling the bill should have addressed the problem at hand and not been used for more pork barrel spending, particularly at a time when voters are scrutinizing Congress closely.
This bailout bill is going to end up costing taxpayers far more than the $700 billion put forth by the original bill. We're all going to feel the pain of this bill when it comes due.