Archive for Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Letter to the editor: Special Interests

August 8, 2007

I found it interesting that Congresswoman Boyda recently labeled Americans For Progress as a "special interest" group. This was intentional because the term carries a heavy negative connotation and her objective was to dismiss their opposition to her "earmark" of Federal funds for a prison museum.

The term raises images of so-called "evil" corporations like tobacco, oil, and defense contractors trying to get a bigger piece of the tax pie or legislation that will benefit their own bottom line, all at the expense of the people.

Yet, AFP is actually trying to do the opposite of this. If they're a special interest group, then the group they represent are taxpayers who are tired of the wasteful spending by both parties in Congress.

And what better examples of waste are there than these congressional earmarks?

Isn't this just a clever, politically correct term for pork barrel spending?

I would like someone to tell me why the federal government should be using our federal taxes for something as nonfederal as a local museum.

This is nothing more than an incumbent using her office to essentially buy votes using our own hard-earned dollars taken from us by the tax man. And remember, there are 534 other members of Congress from both parties doing this same thing -- that little bridge to nowhere in Alaska, research on the mating habits of snail darters in Tennessee -- you've all seen the lists.

What is especially ironic is that Boyda ran on a platform of change, but now she's just like the rest of them. Once they're elected those old business-as-usual practices look pretty good. Is it any wonder that this Congress' approval rating is the lowest ever, even lower than Bush's?

I'm not a member of Americans For Progress, but any group that wants to rein in government spending has my full support.

Louis Sperl
Lansing

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