I openly chuckled yesterday when I opened the local periodical to see a letter to the editor submitted by four individuals who call themselves GLOW. They are the Chairs of the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming county Democratic committees. The four got together to congratulate President Obama and Congress on the historic stimulus bill.
The reason for my jocularity is two fold...well, three fold, but the first doesn't really count, so we'll get that one out of the way: The name. GLOW is so inspiring, I wish that I was a Democrat living in one of those four counties just so that I could say I was in some small way a part of GLOW. It's even fun to say. Come on, say it with me...GLOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW. I've got goosebumps.
The second reason I openly chuckled is that it has obviously become so apparent that Niagara County Dem Chair Dan Rivera has become persona non grata in his own county. Rivera now must resort to bringing in chairman from outside of the county just to write a simple letter to the editor. How humiliating.
Lastly, I had to chuckle at the content of the letter. As we alluded to, the four banded together to congratulate their Dem brethren for the stimulus bill. In addition, they made a point of taking 26th CD Congressman Chris Lee to task for his "no" vote on the porkulus bill.
So let's take a look at some of the intricacies of the bill that you are not likely so see in the local paper. Earmarks totaled at least $3.8 billion - a figure used by the House Appropriations Committee, but the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense calculates that there are an astonishing 8,570 earmarks at a cost of $7.7 billion. Yeah, $7.7 billion. It's okay, you're allowed to be angry.
What are some of the earmarks? How about $1.7 million for "Swine Odor and Manure Management Research." That's on top of $1.9 million in each of the last two years, or nearly $6 million over the past three years. Worried about mosquitos? Fret no more. The bill includes $1.2 million in funding for mosquito trapping in Gainesville, Fla. Concerned about gang members in Los Angeles? Your Congress isn't, they're allocating $200,000 for a "tattoo-removal violence-outreach program" in Los Angeles to help gang members erase signs of their past.
Let's not forget about the Polynesian Voyaging Society of Honolulu. They received a $238,000 "earmark" in the bill. The group organizes sea voyages in ancient-style sailing canoes like the ones that first brought settlers to Hawaii.
Here's the problem: On January 6, President-elect Obama made the following statement: "We are going to ban all earmarks, the process by which individual members insert pet projects without review". So is Obama going to skate around his own rules by saying these $7.7 billion in earmarks have been reviewed or is he going to turtle to Congress like Claude Lemieux in a fight with Rob Ray?
Let's take the earmarks out for second. Under the current stimulus plan, the average worker will get $13 a week this year, dropping to $8 next year. Wow, hold me down so I don't hurt myself jumping around. Even if I do hurt myself, I know BO will be there for me. You see, he's set to unveil a proposal that sets aside $634 billion for health-care reform. Yes, $634 billion.
Obama and Congress are throwing around numbers that will put our country in debt far beyond any President in history. I'm assuming the four members of GLOW who are so quick to congratulate the President and Congress have no kids, because if they did, they would be crucifying Obama for this bill that will put my kids, their kids, their kids and their kids in debt by trillions of dollars. Yeah, that's worth celebrating.
And they have the gall to criticize Lee for voting against this disgustingly bloated-with-wasteful-spending bill? Come on, are the people really that incapable of seeing through this bullsh*t? Stay in your own counties, GLOW, you've got bigger problems to worry about than writing letters to papers in Niagara County.