Friday, July 29, 2005

DeLay of game

Tom DeLay has really surpassed himself. The energy bill already was a feast for the usual special interests, with oozing gobbets of pork for everyone — well, not you or me, but everyone who matters. But that wasn't enough for the Bugman. Josh Marshall explains:

Seems DeLay slipped over a billion dollars of privately-administered pork for oil companies in his district into the energy bill after the bill was out of conference committee.

Judd at Think Progress has the details:

Tom DeLay thinks the federal treasury is his personal piggy bank. DeLay slipped “a $1.5 billion giveaway to the oil industry, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas” into the energy bill.

But this isn’t a normal case of government pork. DeLay has completely dispensed with the democratic process. From a letter Rep. Henry Waxman just sent Speaker Dennis Hastert:

The provision was inserted into the energy legislation after the conference was closed, so members of the conference committee had no opportunity to consider or reject this measure.

The $1.5 billion won’t be administered by the government by a private consortium in DeLay’s district:

The subtitle appears to steer the administration of 75% of the $1.5 billion fund to a private consortium located in the district of Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Ordinarily, a large fund like this would be administered directly by the government.

This is really brazen. It's not just DeLay's French name that would make him feel at home in the court of Louis XIV. His corporatism updates the beloved aristocratic notion that the purpose of government is to distribute largess to one's friends. By that measure, Tom DeLay is a a true aristocrat.


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