Someone once told me she never buys chocolate ice cream. She suspects that because the taste of chocolate is strong and can hide other flavors, the manufacturers may be dumping their leftovers of vanilla or whatnot into the chocolate vat. She may be paranoid.
But you don't need to be paranoid to think the Omnibus Bill that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last Thursday is hiding something unsavory. The massive spending bill, which totals $446.8 billion, "will be debated for just one hour," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who tried but was unable to get a copy to bone up on it before Speaker Nancy Pelosi brought it to the floor.
In an interview with radio pundit Glenn Beck, Chaffetz explained how the bill goes through the House, then the Senate, then to a closed conference committee---and rank-and-file guys like him don't get to lay eyes on the legislation till it clears the Rules Committee. That gave him 24 hours to read a bill that somehow bloated from the original 1,088 pages to 2,500. Even Evelyn Wood doesn't have a course good enough for that.
With passage timed for Christmas distraction, the bill is good for hiding whatever flavor of pork you're into. It bristles with 5,000 earmarks (some of them "airdropped" earmarks, which is even a more nefarious animal). Chaffetz pulled page 24 at random and rattled off millions of bucks for bike racks in D.C. and Sunset Boulevard streetscape beautification.
The feature of H.R. 3288 that upsets American United for Life president and CEO Charmaine Yoest is that it smuggles in government funding of abortion:
"This appropriations bill guts a longstanding prohibition on using public funds to pay for abortions in the District of Columbia. The bill also provides millions of dollars for international 'family planning' that could be directed to organizations that pay for and promote abortions. A majority of Americans do not support the use of their tax dollars to pay for abortions."
The cherry on the top is that the bill represents a 12 percent increase in domestic spending over the base budget, and that's not including the stimulus. Expensive ice cream.
To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.