Apr 132010
Writing about Sen. Richard Shelby’s speech bashing Washington spending:

“Lost in the moment is this irony: Shelby’s anti-spending message is being delivered in a government-built museum to which he frequently steers public money.”

Ben Evans, Huffington Post

Senator Shelby as Chairman of the Senate Commi...
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Senators Shelby and Cochran are emblematic of the dysfunction that has crippled American politics. People complain about our ineffective Congress, but rarely are the incumbents who cause the gridlock replaced. According to the Constitutional Rights Foundation, since World War II, incumbent senators have won reelection 75% of the time. This happens precisely through the dynamic presented in Ben Evan’s article: Congress brings home the pork and other federal spending, which helps them get elected. But then they go back to Washington, where they’re indentured to their campaign benefactors, and they work hard to stall any legislation that serves the people at the expense of business.

Oddly enough, Mississippi and Alabama are in the sweet spot of advantage in this little game of bait and switch. The Tax Foundation numbers for fiscal 2005 show Mississippi to have the nation’s second highest rate of return on federal taxes at $2.02 per dollar paid. Alabama is not far behind at number 7 and a respectable $1.66. In spite of all their anti-government spending rhetoric, these Republicans do a great job of bringing home the bacon.

Unfortunately, they do an even better job of clogging the wheels of progress. When Senator Shelby is not pulling pork to Alabama, he’s in Washington making sure he performs for the $1.8 million he’s received since 2008 from the securities and big banking sectors, amongst others. More than 2 years since the Bear Stearns collapse and still no financial reform . . . he’s doing a great job, isn’t he?

The delicate art of hypocrisy is an integral part of success in our nation’s capitol. Some politicians are better at it than others, but I’m confident that¬†junior members will improve — they’re learning from the best.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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