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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

Location: All Material Copyrighted, United States

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nailing the Hammer

Nailing the Hammer

I'm still transferring stuff over from my dkos account and thought it would be appropriate to feature Delay's shenanigans today, in light of the news.

I know he loves his job and all the trappings of entitlement it brings him, but if you ask me, Tom "I am the Federal Government" DeLay has missed his true calling in life. I'm not saying he isn't good at what he does; as House Majority Leader, he has indeed exacted an impressive cohesiveness from the Republican caucus. One doesn't acquire a nickname like "The Hammer" by being ineffectual, after all.

As a founder and board member of TRMPAC, he is, inarguably, one of the most successful fundraisers the Republican party has ever known. Of course, if you ask Travis Co. District Attorney Ronnie Earle, he's been a little too successful - okay, several felony indictments too successful, but I digress.

Such...ahem...distinctions notwithstanding, I still believe he is simply in the wrong line of work and should just come out of the closet as a humorist already. No, I'm not joking; the guy's a regular comedian. And that's not even taking into account the humor inspired by him. To wit:

As if a career transition from pest exterminator to politician weren't funny enough, DeLay finds himself surrounded by a host of funnymen in his supporting cast. Wacky hijinks ensue.

But really, it's DeLay's public statements that are the pure comedy gold. Take, for example, his commentary on Bush's recent New Orleans speech, wherein he vowed to protect against fraud, waste and abuse in New Orleans reconstruction spending. I laughed so hard, I missed the rest of his speech. I suppose it's fair to say that DeLay, of all people, would understand the importance of such oversight, but still - the irony is almost too much. His pièce de résistance, though, would have to be his recent declaration that "there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget." The man is on a roll!

But it appears the conservative Heritage Foundation doesn't find his remarks amusing. This is not to say they don't have a sense of humor; their snark is on full display in a column titled "A "Victory" Over Wasteful Spending? Hardly."

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) today declared "victory" in the battle to eliminate wasteful federal spending. There is simply no fat left to cut from the federal budget, he said.[1]

This comes as quite a surprise to most Americans. With federal spending now topping $22,000 per household, polls indicate that 71 percent of Americans are more bothered by how their taxes are spent than by the amount of taxes they pay. The average American believes that about half of his or her tax dollars are wasted.[2]

The American people have a point. There is so much fat in government spending--from $300 million bridges to islands with 50 residents in Alaska to billions of dollars in overpayments by federal departments--that it is hard to know where to begin. Declarations of victory are, to say the least, rather premature.

The article goes on to highlight several items of pork in the federal budget, mincing no words, right up until the conclusion:

Rep. Delay has asked for offsets, and now Congress should act upon them. A renewed war on wasteful spending could easily save $100 billion or more per year, enough to offset the expenses of responding to Hurricane Katrina, as well as the costs of other priorities. If lawmakers have the will, there is certainly the waste.

Needless to say, my inner schadenfreude looks forward to watching this play out. The punchline, of course, is that it seems Bush didn't get the memo.

Pass the popcorn!


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