Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Chance favors the prepared mind - Louis Pasteur

Monday, August 09, 2010

Blankety Blank Blank Blank

Friends, you simply can not make this stuff up:

What Do Prince and H.R. 1586 Have in Common?


Both have adopted highly unconventional names in their lifetimes. In Prince’s case, it was the adoption of a symbol to protest Warner Brothers’ artistic and financial control of his output.

Following suit, H.R. 1586 has adopted the name, the “______Act of____,” apparently because of the haste with which the Senate wanted to pass the bill last week.

The Senate’s substitute amendment on this $26 billion spending bill had a placeholder bill name, and it could not take time to replace the placeholder. The House is expected to return this week and pass the Senate amendment, sending it to the president.

As reported on the WashingtonWatch.com blog and cnet news, this highly unconventional name may be what goes into law. With the Senate out of town until September, there is no chance to pass a correcting amendment in both houses. The constitution requires both to pass identical bills, so the House must take up the “______Act of____” and pass it as such.

The lack of a label for this monstrosity is the least of our worries.  This is a $26 billion bailout of the states, with $10 billion going to Big Education alone. This is to supposedly save 300,000 of the estimated six million jobs in public education. And those jobs are disappearing mostly because the unions are refusing pay cuts or freezes, trying to bully the states into forking over money they simply don’t have (one of the few who refuses to be bullied? Chris Christie, of course.) This follow on decades where the number of education jobs has grown dramatically even though the number of students and their performance has been relatively flat.

We’ve been adding staff by the truckload for decades without improving achievement one bit. Since 1970 (see the charts below) public school employment has increased 10 times faster than enrollment, while test scores have stagnated.

Lots of teachers’ jobs could be saved without a bailout if unions would just accept pay concessions like millions of the Americans who fund their salaries. But all too often, they won’t.

It is also being paid out of a PAYGO flim-flam.  To somewhat comply with PAYGO, the Democrats are cutting future outlays on food stamps.  That cut is supposed to take place in 2014, not, you know, now.  Even worse, they are already promising to rescind it the second the bailout bill is passed.  Yes, they are using the healthcare playbook again—claiming a bill is balanced because of nebulous future spending cuts that will be rescinded the instant no one is looking.  And Paul Krugman has the nerve to call out Paul Ryan for shady numbers.

In any case, you can imagine how coming up with a name for the bill slipped their minds, what with so many interest groups to pay off.  Apparently the Screw Future Generations Act of 2010 didn’t poll terribly well.  (The Democrats are, of course, saying this bill is for “the children” since it’s about education and stuff.  Left unclear is how saddling our children with piles of debt to pay money into an education system that doesn’t teach them is good for the children.)

Actually, I suspect this happened because the Democrats don’t really write their own laws.  Somewhere in the basement of the Capitol, they have a machine that cranks out new spending initiatives.  They then fill it out with whatever interest group they’re funding at the moment, kind of like a Mad Lib, and send it on to committee.  In this case, they simply forgot to click a few boxes.  Hey, it happens.  I sometimes forget to fill out the “for” part when I write checks.  Of course, I’m not writing checks for $26 fucking billion dollars.

I’ve really had enough of these ___ with their ____ and their ____ and their ___ with ___ never concerned with ___.  We’d much better off if they were ___ their ___.  At least the mess would be easier to clean up.  It’s time for them to exit stage left. As I said, I’m not happy with the GOP being back in power after six years of bullshit non-governing followed by four years of bullshit screaming.  But if they can stop stuff like this while Obama blocks their most idiotic ideas, that may be trade-off we can take.

Update: My wife pointed out that this is apotheosis of Nancy Pelosi’s “we have to pass it to know what’s in it” logic on the healthcare bill. They’ve gone beyond not reading the bill to not reading even the title.  Now we have to pass it to know what it’s called.  Pretty soon, Congress will just be passing blank pieces of paper.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/09/10 at 10:02 AM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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