Why we need line-item veto
Would you spend $315m to build a bridge to an island with a population of fifty people? You wouldn’t? Huh – shows what you know. Bronwyn Lance-Chester reports that Congress just allocated $223m toward the total cost of the Gravina Island Bridge in Alaska. It seems the ferry leading to that island only leaves every 10 minutes and that isn’t convenient enough.
As Alaskan Highway project managers Jim Evensen and and Mark Dalton say about the Gravina Island project, “Like most of Alaska’s capital transportation expenditures, the federal government will be asked to fund the bulk of it.”
But lest you think it’s some grasping pork expenditure, you must realize: their hands are tied. “Federal legislation designated these funds specifically for the Gravina Access Project. The money cannot be spent on other transportation projects or in other ways without Congressional authorization.” Darn those Congressmen forcing us to spend federal money on ludicrous projects.
How about another bridge ($200m Federal dough) to connect Anchorage to… well, nowhere, really. That’s only the first installment – the final cost is expected to be around $2.3bn. I don’t have all the specifics on that one yet.
Remember when Clinton worked to get a line-item veto, because pork spending gets packed into “must-pass” legislation so individual congressmen can’t vote against it? The reasoning was that if a vetoed line was really that important, congress could come back and override the veto, which would be perfectly fair. I keep seeing examples of why that was a good idea.