If you think Santa Claus came early this year by delivering liberal majorities in the House and Senate, you had better check your stocking again. Liberals and the political parties will continue to play us like the kid who asked Santa for a pony, but woke up Christmas morning to find a big box of horse manure.
At first blush, Congressman Charlie Rangel's (D-NY) comments last week about Mississippi are merely the latest exposé of Northeast limousine liberal elitism, similar to Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) remarks before the election disparaging our brave military personnel. Rangel was quoted in the New York Times saying, "Mississippi gets more than their fair share back in federal money, but who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?"
Rangel's quote not only describes many liberals' contemptuous view of Middle America, but also illustrates how liberals, regardless of party affiliation, view the role of federal government. Peel back Rangel's rhetorical onion further, and you can see the degenerative influence of the political parties on Congress' ability to solve our most serious fiscal crises.
The coming Senate Democratic majority means that Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) will likely become the next chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. Byrd has sat on the Appropriations Committee since 1959. Over 30 federal projects in Sen. Byrd’s home state bear his name. During a March 15, 2001 speech on the Senate floor, Byrd stated, "One man's pork is another man's job. Pork has been good investment in West Virginia. You can look around and see what I've done."
Not that anyone will notice much change between Byrd and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), the current Senate Appropriations chairman. Stevens' home state of Alaska leads the nation in receipt of taxpayer dollars for earmarked pork projects. Alaskans per capita receive more than $611 of our money for earmarked appropriations. The national average is $19 per capita.
In the House, Transportation Committee chairman Rep. Don Young (R-AK) doesn't seem too upset about ceding the majority to the Democrats. Young, architect of the bill to fund the infamous Bridge to Nowhere, will likely hand his golden gavel to Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN). According to the Anchorage Daily News, Young "changed the way funds were allocated to increase the amount controlled by minority Democrats to 45 percent." Young, who will remain on the committee as ranking minority member, claims Oberstar told him, "I'll treat you as good as you treated me, and that was great." Bipartisanship – it's a beautiful thing.
Herman Cain is the National Chairman of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. He is the former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc., and currently is CEO and president of T.H.E. New Voice, Inc., a business and leadership consulting company.
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