Friday, October 03, 2008

Capitol Hill Sausage Makers

Watching Congress this week brings back childhood memories of living next to a frankfurter factory. From dawn until dark, trucks backed up to loading docks, where men in long aprons with red and brown smears hauled haunches and pushed bins inside. What went on inside was a mystery, but the stains and smells made it clear that flesh was being hacked and ground to bits around the clock. Spicy seasonings could never mask the reek from that building.

The $800 billion-plus sausage that may emerge from the House today has been stuffed with so much pork and other red meat for voters that it's hard to keep track of the scraps, including tax relief for motor racing tracks, extending restaurant improvement credits and exempting from excise tax wooden arrow shafts for use by children.

"I am hopeful that there will be bipartisan, majority support for this bill that is critical to stabilizing our nation's economy for all working Americans," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said last night in anticipation of the debate that begins this morning.

The vote is expected to be close on what Paul Krugman calls "originally the Paulson plan, then the Paulson-Dodd-Frank plan, and now, I guess, the Paulson-Dodd-Frank-Pork plan (it’s been larded up since the House rejected it on Monday).

"I hope that it passes, simply because we’re in the middle of a financial panic, and another no vote would make the panic even worse. But that’s just another way of saying that the economy is now hostage to the Treasury Department’s blunders."

Pass the mustard.


nukeman said...

Goodbye "USA", Hello "USSA" - the United Socialists States of America! Citizens, protect yourselves...the dollar will now plunge to worthlessness and take ALL of your retirement savings with it. You have been warned.

Anonymous said...

This is what I will remember. Both presidential canidates wanted this bill in some form and many in congress opposed the original bill.

To get the Democrats to sign on, here was a measure of transperancy added and the bill was ammended to help the middle class.

To get the Republicans to sign on, pork was added to the bill.

BAYMAN said...

Once again, those who can eat the meat and leave their waste for the rest of us. I'd rather go hungry, except this is, for me, no longer always a meatphor. I paraphrase what a good friend of mine who is aware of my dire circumstances said to me yesterday: This is going to get bad over the next few years. Many people are about to join you.

Gem Dandy said...

Gotta love that stock market response. The Dow Jones Industrial Index was up +250 points from the previous day's close at 1 pm around the time the vote took place. By the closing is was down -150 from the previous day's close. A negative 400 point swing after our leaders gave it 700 billion dollars of our money. I have yet to hear about this in news, unlike the constant hand wringing news reports about the 777 point drop on Monday. What establishment media?