(Mark Noonan) – With unemployment exploding above 10% nationally, Afghanistan suffering as President Obama dithers, our houses continue to lose value, more Nevadans lose their jobs…what does Rep Shelly Berkley do to pass the time? This:
“Congresswoman Shelley Berkley has secured more than $300,000 in federal funding for the restoration of two more historic neon signs to be displayed along Las Vegas Boulevard. These funds will also help secure the neon boneyard where the classic signs from the Las Vegas of the 50’s and 60’s are stored awaiting restoration and display. ‘Neon is to Las Vegas what skyscrapers are to Manhattan…'”
Now, I realize that $300,000.00 isn’t a lot of money – for a Democrat. For me, it’d be an untold fortune. I bet it would be a tidy sum for everyone I know – and, in fact, for any random 99 out of 100 people I meet walking down the street. It is in such actions – small in themselves, massive in aggregate – where the real bad of Washington politics comes out.
Quite simply, it should never have occurred to Congresswoman Berkley to find funds to refurbish an antique sign from an era of Las Vegas most residents don’t recall. It is a worthwhile cause to seek to preserve bits of the past – but in a time of runaway budget deficits and Nevadans wondering if they’ll have a job next week, that 300 grand could have been put to much better use.
Taxpayer money isn’t a plaything, Congresswoman – each penny should be spent only after careful reflection on what it’s being used for. Heck, I’m sure that the food banks in Nevada could have used the money a lot more than a neon sign could.
One foolish bit of legislation isn’t a problem. If this were the only asinine thing to come out of Congress in 2009, we’d all be pleased. The problem is that we’ve built up a gigantic system whereby government loots the taxpayers and spreads the money around in ways best assured to get the government re-elected.
A little bit of money here, a little bit of money there – and aren’t we just mean for criticizing each expenditure?
But hundreds of billions of dollars have simply gone missing over the years. No one knows where it went – and it went out just like this little $300,000.00 appropriation. Drip, drip, drip – and now the well is running dry. We need people in government who will be watchdogs of the Treasury, not Santa Clause for everyone with a pet scheme.
(Mark Noonan writes for Blogs for Victory)