Thank you Rodak. Frequently I argue against pork, yet it often seems like a strawman argument, since no one ever argues against me.
Let the debate begin!
Rodak: Those who should be held up for scorn are those who would kill all discretionary spending, across the board, for an indefinite, but surely long, period of time.
Personally, I would kill ALL discretionary spending FOREVER.
Rodak: Senators are elected at the state level, and it is their job to bring home federal money ("pork") that will help to create jobs and generate tax revenues for their home states. Why would any responsible senator vote for a bill that would effectively prevent him from doing his job?
Even the much-riduculed Woodstock Museum would be a good thing for job seekers in upstate New York. Nothing gets reported on in Cleveland without pictures being shown of the Rock and Roll Museum.
Jobs paid for by federal funds are a mirage. They last as long as the funding is there or the project is running. What kind of jobs are we talking about? Construction work? Museum work?
Speaking of museums, what happens if the museum is unprofitable (i.e. not enough people visit it)? Then you either have to support it with public funds, or it closes. That is what is known as a "make work" program.
Think about it: If all we had in this country were government-funded jobs, what would that do to our economy? The government would be paying everyone, and all tax receipts would be coming from government payouts. Moving money from the government's left hand to the right hand does NOTHING to build the economy.
Museums like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are the exception, not the rule. It should also be noted it was funded by the city of Cleveland, not the federal government. Why can't the state of New York fund their own Woodstock museum? Or if it is so important, why can't the "Woodstock generation" fund their own museum?
For that matter, why can't the state of Alaska fund their own "bridge to nowhere"? Alaska has had a budget surplus for years much bigger than the funding they were requesting from the federal government.
The truth is that pork handouts are a spoils system based on seniority. Just keep re-electing the same senator over and over again, and you too can feed at the federal trough. As soon as your senator dies or retires, you're screwed.
Pork is NOT about helping people. It IS about getting senators (and congressmen) re-elected. And you think this is MORE important than children receiving healthcare? Or Social Security funding for that matter, since these wonderful senators have no problem robbing the Social Security "trust fund" in order to pay for these pork projects?
The Baby Boomers will get their Woodstock Museum. They won't be able to visit it on their reduced Social Security payments, and their grandchildren won't get healthcare, but at least their senators will get re-elected.