April 9th, 2003


Common Sense - If the shoe fits...

From commonsense.org

    "If the Shoe Fits"

    Whether we support or oppose a war in Iraq, we all want the best for the men and women in uniform. We want them to have the tools to fight any war and, please, to come home safe and sound. And should a soldier fall, we want to make doggone sure that his
    family is well taken care of.

    This is simply common sense and common decency. But for congressmen, such virtues are high-wire acts that they clearly haven't mastered.

    Recently, we saw legislation to give military families a tax break should a soldier be killed in battle. The families currently receive a $6,000 special payment at the death of their loved one, half of it tax-free. The bill would make all of it
    tax-free. Now, Congress can get carried away doing nice things for folks with our tax dollars, but this idea didn't strike me as too lavish.

    In fact, the bill -- one of those feel-good, jump-on-the-bandwagon, photo-op bills that everybody wants to co-sponsor -- was certain to speed through Congress. But precisely because every pork-barreling politician in Congress knew the bill would pass, they began loading it down with special-interest tax
    breaks. The list of goodies had reached $300 million when the scam got exposed and the bill got scuttled.

    Pandering to so many special interests at the same time didn't work. The congressmen were so busy with their self-dealing that they callously forgot about the very soldiers they have sent into harm's way. They looked like a bunch of corrupt hacks.

    Well, if the shoe fits . . .

    This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.