Jeremy Wallace reports in the SHT that:
"Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta says state bureaucracy will keep much of the federal stimulus money from making its way to local government.
So the Republican county commissioner suggested that $300 million be given out by each of the 435 House members of Congress and $500 million through each of the 100 members of the Senate.
"Why can't we interject simplicity into this process?" he asked at a Feb. 9 County Commission meeting."Wallace makes no mention of whether the Commissioners' meeting came to a halt until the laughter subsided. If not, that could indicate one of two things:
- the rest of the commissioners agreed with what he said
- the rest of the commissioners don't pay attention to what he said
Joe Barbetta apparently subscribes whole-heartedly to that tradition.
We don't have the foggiest idea of where the first half of the Bush administration's 'Son of Stimulus' went, except that the banks got it and they're not giving it back, in any way, shape or form. When questioned by Congress, the bankers don't have a lot to say about the handout, other than "When do we get the second half?"
Being numbers guys, the next thing these financial wizards will be asking for is the third half of the taxpayer prize package.
Now, I'm sure that members of the House and Senate would be more than happy to get this windfall, although its spending would probably be more visible than sneaking through an earmark or two for a pet project. Tougher to hide, say, a 'Bridge to Nowhere.' Maybe. Remember, these guys are the masters at this stuff.
I'm sure the esteemed senator from Illinois, Roland Burris, still has a couple payments left to ex-Gov. Blagojevich for his seat at the trough. And he sure as hell doesn't want to fall behind, knowing that the impeached (but still innocent; just ask him) governor's enforcer is Mrs. Blago, Patty "I'll Fuck You Up" Blagojevich.
As for Barbetta, maybe the thrill of hanging out with those big shots from the Red Sox for a week was all too much for him.
Congress Warms To Barbetta Stimulus Plan