Why the Pork War?

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jul 18, 2006 10:07 AM
Speaking of Rep. Davis' pork project, people often ask me "why are you so mad at the pork?" Don't we have more important things to worry about than a war on pork? What about the war on terror? The war in Iraq?

Well, we can do both-- a two-front war, if you will-- on pork and terror, and the one benefits the other:

Last, we can’t pretend that the pork issue can be left alone with no
effect on issues like the war on terror. Money is what makes everything
move on the Hill. The more we know about the special ways it
discourages inertia, the better off we are. Ignoring the pork problem
is the surest road to more freezer-burned bribes, bigger government,
and less efficiency. None of those things helps the U.S. fight
Islamofascism.

Just yesterday, word came that Rep. Tom Davis of
Virginia wants the House to consider an amendment that would allocate
$1.5 billion to Metro, subsidizing the commutes of Northern Virginian
and Maryland civil servants — some of the best-paid workers in the
nation.

Now, whose priorities are misplaced? The folks who want
Davis to stand up and justify that spending when we may be soon facing
a new attack in the war on terror and a new international crisis? Or,
the folks who’d like to use the smoke billowing over the Middle East as
a screen for irresponsible spending habits at home? In this case, smoke
most certainly does not cure pork.

So, don't give me all this nonsense about ignoring pork because other things are more important. Of course other issues are more dire. Federal spending is a big problem, but one that will always be with us.More pressing issues will rightly take precedence from time to time.

But the American Congress is a big, grown-up organization that can deal with more than one problem at a time. In fact, Congress has allowed the federal government's scope and power to grow so much that it simply must deal with a thousand issues at once to get everything done. If pork is one of those issue, perhaps one day the government will be small enough that it can deal with just one issue at a time.

Here's hoping.