Ball point pen on the morning newsprint
I applaud how the legislature has been shining a light on how corporate America does business, but the standard practices of our legislature also seems broken. Earmarks are a way for legislators to make the federal government pay for local concerns. But, often seniority has as much to do with who brings home the bacon as those concerns....and in light of the catastrophic state of the economy and our ballooning deficits, said concerns often seem silly and ill conceived. The state of Iowa is receiving $1.7 million to research pig odor, while Hawaii is receiving $2 million for the promotion of astronomy. Of the $126 million Massachusetts is receiving in earmarks, more than twenty percent of those funds are going to preserve the Kennedy legacy. The bill includes 5.8 million to plan and design the Edward M Kennedy Institute for the Senate, $22 million to expand John F Kennedy Presidential Library, $5 million for a new gateway for the Rose Kennedy Gateway, a park system in downtown Boston named after Kennedy's mother. At a time when so many are without a job and others are struggling to make ends meet, do we really need to ask a coal miner from Pennsylvania to chip in and preserve the legacy of one of the wealthiest family's in America?