Seven Hundred Billion Taxpayer Dollars to bail out Wall Street was not enough. The Senate wanted to handout even more of our money. In a bill that passed the Senate yesterday, the total Wall Street bailout price tag has just gone up by another 112 billion dollars.
We are told that the passage of this bailout bill is urgently needed to unfreeze the credit markets and save America from the financial abyss. Apparently that reasoning is not enough to get the taxpayer bailout bill passed in the United States Congress. So, bring on the "sweeteners".
A bill that was once three pages now resembles the size of a large phone book. It includes the following tax breaks and earmarks:
-Manufacturers of kids' wooden arrows - $6 million.
- Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum producers - $192 million
- Wool research- $148 million
- Nation wide improvement in Auto-racing tracks - $128 million.
- Corporations operating in American Samoa - $33 million.
- Small-to medium-budget film and television productions - $10 million.
- A $223 million package of tax benefits for fishermen and others whose livelihoods suffered as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill
Some of the other measures include a $3.8 billion health-care provision that forces insurance companies to provide coverage for mental-health treatment equivalent to the coverage they provide for physical illness.
Other provisions in the plan will increase individual tax credits, help shield more than 20 million Americans from the painful alternative minimum tax, and offer breaks for businesses that invest in alternative fuels. Also, several federal income-tax breaks due to expire will now be extended through 2009.
So, when the next President supports a plan to raise taxes, every American citizen should remember this Financial Services Bailout bill. That future tax increase will be our hangover from Wall Street's wild, unregulated party and a Congressional inability to balance a budget.
So, as taxpayers, we should take comfort in the fact that we have now improved auto racing nationwide. We should be aware that money spent on wool research may be crucial to our future.
Certainly, our children will always need those government subsidized wooden toy arrows. In addition, it's great to now be able to make movies with the governments help, especially in American Somoa. The reality of all this makes it very difficult to see who among us could live without Puerto Rico's rum, especially with the imminent passage of this huge, pork laden taxpayer bailout bill.
The Senate Bill moves on to the House Of Representatives, for final passage today. Look for more "sweeteners" to be added to the bailout bill in the House. Of course, this is all business as usual in the United States Congress. Spend huge sums of money on things we don't need with money we don't have.
Maybe Democratic Senator Bill Nelson said it best: "They've added on $150 billion dollars of more spending, that's not paid for. It will have to be borrowed from the government of China."
There are two words in our vocabulary that can solve the problems in Washington, D.C.. They are the words that the Washington political insider fears the most. The only real solution to clean up this mess in Congress is to eliminate the career politician through the use of "Term Limits".