Tombstone, Ariz., has nothing on Washington, D.C. Friday's financial OK Corral took place when federal politicians had a standoff over the mother of all bailout bills. Bullets called ballots were fired from both congressional houses and the White House. And when the smoke cleared, the bad guys appeared: Bush, Paulson, Barney Frank, Pelosi, Dodd and most of the other members of the House and the Senate, including Obama and even McCain.
The truth is most members of Congress voted to pass the bill but don't have a clue what is in this 500-plus-page legislation, which was birthed in the White House just two weeks ago as an infant of only three pages. Then it was voted down at the Capitol a week later in its adolescent-sized 100 pages. And of course, in good bureaucratic fashion, it met the criteria to be mature when it was more than five times that size and packed with governmental goodies. And the president signed it just an hour after receiving it from Capitol Hill Friday. I guess that speed-reading course paid off.
In the fine print, inserted between the lines of that 500-plus-page bill, are loads of fiscal additives and more financial toxic relief. H.R. 1424 -- the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which now has been signed into law -- officially includes more than $112 billion in political hors d'oeuvres and pork-barrel teasers and sweeteners that have absolutely no direct relation to the Wall Street bailout but were included to bribe congressional naysayers and others to get on the greed train:
--$6 million in tax breaks for wooden-arrow manufacturers in Oregon.
--$148 million in tax breaks for wool-producing companies.
--$128 million in tax breaks for the manufacturers of car-racing tracks.
--$10 million in tax breaks for small television and film producers.
--$223 million in tax breaks for Alaskan fishermen.
--$33 million in tax breaks for corporations operating in American Samoa.
--$192 million in tax breaks for rum producers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
What the &$=/?! And that's just a drop in the bailout bucket. And we the taxpayers are just supposed to sit back and take it in the arrears?