"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Pigs At The Trough–Mayors Are Licking Their Chops At Joe Biden’s Multi-Trillion Dollar Give-Away

Mayor Marion Barry of Washington, aka Mayor for Life, was famous for his largesse – walkin’ around money it was called, spent freely in the poor black wards of the city and made possible by ‘Barry’s Siphon’, tax money sucked from the wealthy white wards.

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The money went into the pockets of ‘the community’, no questions asked as long as they voted Barry’s way come election time; and since the voters of Wards 7 and 8 had no clue about electoral politics other than patronage, it was a cinch. Barry, despite his peccadillos was as sure as the sun rises would be returned to office every four years.  

In fact, Barry’s dalliances with hookers, smoking crack, and freewheeling political ways only enhanced his image among minority constituents.  He was Mr. Macho sticking it to the white man.  “Bitch set me up”, he said, and his supporters cheered.

Image result for images marion barry

No one ever kept track of Barry’s walkin’ around money and no one was ever asked to.  ‘Showin’ the green in the mean’ and the votes in November were all that mattered. 

Washington, thanks to Barry’s mismanagement went into receivership presided over by  scrupulously honest accountant Anthony Williams.  The money siphoned off by Barry from the white wards and raked in from K Street high-rolling landlords was apparently not enough to stave off bankruptcy. 

Walkin’ around money increased the deficit, but so did other ‘social programs’ passed by the city council, boondoggle ‘investments’ with no purpose whatsoever other than to pacify the teachers’ union, pay lip service to ‘governance’ and pay dues to the city’s white progressive supporters.  School performance not only did not increase but decreased consistently.  Rates of crime, family dysfunction, drugs, and truancy were par for the course.

So, one can only imagine how delighted the mayors of America’s big cities are with President’s Biden’s two mammoth, multi-trillion dollar spending bills.  Any legislation of this size with the political will to spend it quickly is guaranteed to foster municipal corruption on a scale that Marion Barry could only envy.   Not only will these mayors have a virtually unlimited source of funds to spend as they wish, they won’t have to bother siphoning off tax revenues from the wealthy.  

It matters not a whit that there are federal guidelines for public spending.  Municipalities, states, and counties have always found ways to take their cut or to divert funds for politically remunerative projects.   ‘Roads and bridges’?  No problem there. 

Image result for cartoon biden giving away money infrastructure b bill

Washington, despite years of post-Marion Barry political rectitude, is now more than ever in the mood for open-the-sluice gates spending.  “Given the systemic racism persistent in our city”, said one prominent DC politician on the day of the signing of Biden’s infrastructure bill, “and given the social, economic, and financial consequences of such racial oppression, we will do our utmost to right the ship and bring Black Washington into the mainstream”.  Which meant of course that most if not all this big-time walkin’ around money would be spent in minority wards and “Get over it” would be all the white ones would ever hear. 

Given the nature of American federalism the federal government can only suggest how money is spent.  Jurisdictions will have full authority to dispense Biden’s trillions as they see fit as long as they match approved categories.  If Washington, Detroit, St. Louis, or Baltimore choose to prioritize certain areas of the city over others, that is their prerogative; and if they build ‘bridges to nowhere’, repave streets already repaved, shore up old, unused trestles, and build pedestrian walkways where pedestrians are afraid to walk, no one can interfere with their choices. 

Image result for images bridges to nowhere

Everybody makes out under the Infrastructure bill.  Cities will contract work for unnecessary public works, contractors will overcharge municipalities, and cities, knowing that there is more money where first rounds came from, will cause no fuss.  Since cities have no real stake in the investment per se, contractors are sure to have cost-overruns, long delays, and only marginally code-worthy construction.

A number of years ago, one of India’s largest states benefitted from similar federal financing, and to great hoopla began an ambitious road improvement program.  Urgency was of the essence said the Chief Minister, and roads should be completed before the monsoon.  So, thousands of workers, coolies, mules, and imported labor from neighboring states began work.  In early June, just before the onset of the rains, the Chief Minister with great fanfare, elephants, trumpets, and parades, opened the state’s most important and well-travelled route.

Image result for images indian laborers repairing road 60s

It looked marvelous, unlike any in India, most of which were potholed, cratered, and barely passable.  The rebuilt road was a showpiece - its black tar glistened in the summer sun, its white center line bright and luminescent.

Then, the rains came, and the illegally overloaded trucks returned.  After only a few weeks of wet weather the road, constructed with more sand than stone, with old landfill as foundation, and only a thin layer of so-called tar covering it, began to show familiar cracks, gouges, potholes, and craters caused by the banging and hammering of swaying, unstable trucks piled high with goods, contraband, and desultory products of ‘import substitution’. 

No one complained because no one expected any different. Of course for a few rupees  the operators of truck weigh stations allowed the most flagrant abuses to go unpunished.  Of course the road contractors used inferior materials and paid off public works inspectors to look the other way.  Of course the road inspectors had no interest in doing their job because all roads in India were in disrepair as this one soon would be; and of course the political leadership of the state was diffident at best because a show of largess – tamasha -  image, intent were all more important than the real thing.

While no one in America expects such universal, rampant, and institutionalized corruption, the clean, Boy Scout image the country likes to promote is as much of an illusion as Hollywood myth.   Roads will be built to code but they will go nowhere.  Bike lanes will be coopted by vehicle traffic as soon as the icons and white lines are painted. 

Image result for images american boy scouts poster 50s

The two trillion dollar social welfare package is even easier to mine for local profit. The idea of universal, free pre-school education has been around for decades, and despite the cheers of its progressive backers has little to show for the billions invested.  Children might get something out of the program at first - Sesame Street simplistic learning at best – but when measured against non-enrollees a year or two later, there is no difference.  When graduated from a sheltering environment onto the mean streets, there is no doubt who wins.

Nevertheless, the old adage of walkin’ around money prevails – “We have learned a lesson, know how to fix pre-school education, and will use the money wisely”.  No one, however, has learned the lesson – it is parenting, the home environment, a positive, socially moderating community ethos which determine educational performance and ultimate success.  Good money after bad; but school districts and teachers’ unions are salivating.

What more can be said of a boondoggle-ready Child Tax Credit, a payout, payoff to dysfunctional families with no codicils, conditionalities, or requirements; and no defined goals of graduation. 

The biggest joke of all is the Social Welfare Bill’s inclusion of almost two trillion dollars for ‘Immigration’.  Immigration? Payouts and payoffs to those who have crossed the Rio Grande illegally, who use every ruse to stay, who have no wars, civil abuse, and persecution behind them, and who simply want the easy life of El Norte.  The Biden Administration and its Congressional supporters haven’t the slightest idea how to fix the immigration crisis, and throwing tax-and-spend money at it is the time-tested, tried-and-true easy solution to it and every problem the country faces.

Image result for images illegals storming us border

Walkin’ around money.  Illegal immigrants will get some easy cash to ‘ease their transition’ to American ways and markets; and will tell their relatives in San Miguel, Tapachula, Tegucigalpa, and San Pedro Sula to come on up.

Since it is too late to stop this once-in-a-lifetime boondoggle, better to line up and take what you can get.  Not the American way of enterprise, hard work, discipline, and rectitude bandied about for sure, but the human nature way.  It’s ok to cater to it, but to pander to it? Salivation all around.

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