Rahm Emannuel recently stated that "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." See here. This is not merely a left wing tactic, as even Milton Friedman noted that "Only a crisis actual or perceived produces real change." (the theme of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine). Thus, it's a political reality, and in this crisis, Democrats control the Presidency and Congress.
Clinton's welfare reforms are now effectively repealed, and we have $30MM to help protect the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse. But who cares, we need to do something now, and every dollar spent in Washington, through the multiplier, pays for itself!
It is not only the salt marsh harvest mouse. The project would benefit dozens of species, including salmon, steelhead trout, ducks, egrets, and yes, the endangered mouse. But America could do better than that. Athens when it decided to spend public monies, built the Parthenon. The Egyptians built not one but many pyramids and sphinxes. All of them excellent long term investments, as they became eternal tourist attractions. America could build a large golden statue of Keynes, with a leg on each side of the San Francico Bay.
I don't understand, the article you linked to says there are *no* earmarks in the bill for the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse.
Did you read the article? Or are you just taking Rush and Sean's word for it?
$30 million is slightly less than what was paid to Ahmed Chalibi's Iraqi National Congress between 2000 and 2003. Sure, spending tax money on wetlands preservation isn't that great an idea, but at least it will better spent than in an expense account for a lobbyist group like the INC.
I linked precisely because it gave a fair and balanced view to the kerfluffle. The article notes it is not solely for the mouse, but the mouse is an intended recipient, and was highlighted in the original legislation.
The stimulus bill contains the single largest earmark in history. (But clever lawyers that they are, Congress avoided the "earmark" tag by not naming names and instead describing understood recipient in narrow terms.)
"‘‘Fossil Energy Research and Development’’, $4,600,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2010: Provided, That $2,000,000,000 is available for one or more near zero emissions powerplant(s): "
There is only 1 eligible "near zero" plant ready to go in the U.S.: FutureGen in Senator Durbin & Obama's home state of Illinois.
Huffingtom post is all fired up: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-biggers/come-home-dick-durbin-com_b_167088.html
FutureGen will test new technologies and generate some electricity. The Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse will do nothing. Leave the place stimulus-less and in twenty years you will have the salt marsh back chock-full of mouses.
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