Using Corporate Welfare to Bias Elections
Here is a news update from Taxpayers for Common Sense. TCS is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending, corruption and corporate welfare.
In what is ramping up to be one of the closest elections in our nation's history, it pays to be in a swing state in this year's campaign. Just ask welfare queens such as the Southern Company. On October 21, they received $235 million to subsidize a clean coal energy plant. This handout is not going to California or Utah, but Florida, the home of hanging chads and arguably the most important state in this year's election.
Sure, doling out election year pork is as old as the hills. The President, just like his predecessors, is taking advantage of his ability to steer federal dollars to the places where you can get the biggest bang for the political buck. Generally, incumbents bring home bacon bits to remind voters that they have a political friend that they need to keep in office. But this year, the swing states are by far the big winners.
In his travels across the nation, the President has been handing out pork to whoever has their hands out. But, he isn't always the one who delivers the goods. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham joined Gov. Jeb Bush in Orlando, Florida to announce the Southern Co's $235 million gift. In the past year, Cabinet officials have traveled through every swing state doling out firehouses, clean water grants and transportation dollars, just to name a few.
In the middle of August, EPA administrator Mike Leavitt went to Wisconsin and Michigan to promote a $45 million plan to clean up the Great Lakes. On October 14, another clean coal plant in New Mexico got $20 million, Florida received $4.9 million for self-propelled passenger rail cars between Miami and West Palm Beach, and $12 million was distributed for Brownfield redevelopment in Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania. Five days later, Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, announced an $82 million grant to build the Euclid Corridor Bus Rapid Transit system in Cleveland, Ohio. A $207 million grant went to plant grass filter strips, riparian buffers and hardwood trees as part of an effort to keep the drinking water in Columbus, Ohio safe and clean.
One of our favorites was when the President flew to Oregon over the summer to announce $15 million in funding to deepen the Columbia River channel. The problem is the President didn't include the money in his budget to pay for it. He lied.
Coordinating politics and policy isn't anything new. Other presidents have also been caught. But, President Bush is making it into an art form. Despite Bush's record budget deficits, this administration has spread enough political grease to swing states to serve French fries to millions.
Swing state subsidies are just the latest example of our elected officials having budget deficit amnesia. Our nation has record deficits and we can't afford this, but they still are spending like drunken sailors as part of an expensive effort to bias the election. Unfortunately, it's taxpayers who will feel the hangover from their binge.
For more information, contact Keith Ashdown at (202)-546-8500 ext. 110
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
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