Government Spending

Shut Up and Spend

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Why did the Republicans lose control of the House and Senate? Congressman Don Young says it's because of pork. Specifically, he says it's because the critics of pork wouldn't shut their damn traps:

Rep. Don Young, the outgoing chairman of the House Transportation Committee and Sen. Stevens's Alaskan pork-barrel sidekick, told reporters this month that he thinks [Sen. Tom] Coburn's criticisms of the Bridge to Nowhere and other infrastructure projects were one reason Republicans lost their majority. "He's been a spoiler from the get-go," said Mr. Young, who has been in Congress since 1973.

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  1. Poor, whiny bastard.

  2. So public opinion is merely a roadblock? Good to know our congressmen value our opinions so much.

  3. When it comes to the budget, Colburn is a good guy and thieving dirtbags like Lott and Stevens hate his guts Republican or no. If the Republicans were going to loose the majority anyway, it is really too bad Stevens wasn’t up for re-election. The removal of Stevens, Congrad Burns and Lincoln Chaffee would have been one of the greatest additions by subtractions in American history.

  4. And this is exactly why I voted for Young’s Democratic opponent. Too bad it didn’t work and Young is still in office.

  5. Don Young is the kind of Republican that makes me pine for the 1996 GOP.

  6. damon,
    Don Young was in the 1996 GOP. That’s part of the problem.

  7. If you don’t like the message, shoot the messenger. Or at least blame him for exposing the truth.

  8. I must point out, there is no such thing as a bridge to nowhere. All bridges start and end somewhere. It was very much worth it to the few thousand people on that island. Of course, it’s not worth it to the rest of us.

    Sen. Stevens was doing his job to advocate the building of the bridge, he was representing his constituents. That is want you want an elected offical to do. He probably made some concessions to other Senators to get their vote. That’s how Congress works.

    The only problem, it was way too expensive to justify. Therefore, the trash can is the best place for that plan.

  9. Sen. Stevens was doing his job to advocate the building of the bridge, he was representing his constituents. That is want you want an elected offical to do.

    Yeah, morality and common sense be damned.

  10. Sen. Stevens was doing his job to advocate the building of the bridge, he was representing his constituents.

    Well, he was representing a handful of his constituents, at the expense of the other 99% of his constituents. I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

  11. I actually had to watch a video of Don Young from 1979 for a class. Seemed to sing a different tune back then or at least acted like it.

  12. It was very much worth it to the few thousand people on that island.

    Then they should pay for it themselves.

  13. Sen. Stevens was doing his job to advocate the building of the bridge, he was representing his constituents.

    I seem to recall reading that some of his family and/or close associates owned some property on the island.

    Property that would doubtless be worth a lot more after the bridge was built.

    It kind of gives “servicing your constituents” a whole new meaning, eh?

  14. TrickyVic,
    I assume you are refering to the more egregious of the two bridges, the one from Ketchikan to Gravina Island. In that instance, many of the residents of Ketchikan actually voiced an opinion against the building of the bridge. There is already ferry service in place that ferries you from the Airport(Gravina Is.) to the town for $5.00/RT. The other supposed reason for the building of the bridge was to open up Gravina Is. to development, a process that is proceeding just fine and dandy as it is. If enough people want to move to Ketchikan that it requires a bridge, let them pay for it.

    I will note that Gravina has 50 residents, Ketchikan has approx. 8,000. Ketchikan also has no roads leading to the town, nor any economically feasible way of getting them there. Put bluntly, unless somebody develops a massive shipbuilding enterprise in Ketchikan, there won’t be enough of an economic base to warrant this bridge, ever.

  15. “Shut Up and Spend”

    Cripes, we have to read ANOTHER Reason staffer whining about Buy Nothing Day?

  16. Kwix,

    Me Culpa, I was pining for a more general return to the espoused (and not often followed) attitude of smaller government.

    Seriously, what are the odds that any real change is going to happen any time soon. Depressing.

  17. “””Yeah, morality and common sense be damned.””

    Of course. Since when did morality and common sense rule in Congress?

    “””Then they should pay for it themselves.”””

    When does this ever happen? Most the road work on major projects is paid for by federal dollars. That’s why the drinking age is 21 in this counrty. The feds said they would withhold highway funds if states didn’t raise the drinking age. The feds LOVE to hold federal highway funds over the states head to get what they want. States and counties pay for some but the feds give enough that the states will kiss their butts to keep the funds.

    “””Ketchikan also has no roads leading to the town, nor any economically feasible way of getting them there. Put bluntly, unless somebody develops a massive shipbuilding enterprise in Ketchikan, there won’t be enough of an economic base to warrant this bridge, ever.””””

    A classic catch 22. A ship wouldn’t be built unless decent transportation exists. They will not get a bridge until it there is an economic base to support it. Which I doubt there ever will be.

    By no means am I advocating for the bridge. I can’t blame a Senator for trying to get something for his people, even if it’s only 1%, when everyone else is getting their pork.

    A reality is that we all eat the pork our Senators bring home, in some form. Since the feds take it from you, you want a return, regardless if it is disproportional. I don’t think I’ve ever heard about a state saying “no thanks feds, we don’t want that money, give my money to Mississippi” . As long as we pay federal tax, we will want some pork to benefit ourselves.

    Personally, I think highway projects and taxes collected for those projects should reside at the state level.

    “””Seriously, what are the odds that any real change is going to happen any time soon. Depressing”””

    I’d say zilch to none.

  18. Personally, I think highway projects and taxes collected for those projects should reside at the state level.

    But. But. But then how would Hawaii ever have gotten an Interstate Highway?

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