Bringing home the bacon gets a slap in the face

The York Daily Record has an article on state lawmakers and administration officials’ penchant for posing with cardboard checks – i.e. “Ed McMahon syndrome” – prompted by Senator Eichelberger’s refusal to strike a pose. Obliviously, some lawmakers defend the practice as a necessary tool of state government.

Spokesmen for Rendell and top House Republicans and Democrats defended the check presentations as a vital way of telling people about important steps being taken for the community.

“Complaining that these checks are grandstanding completely misses the point that these are investments in the commonwealth’s infrastructure and our local communities,” said Bob Caton, spokesman for House Majority Whip Keith McCall, D-Carbon.

Are you kidding me? These ceremonies are “political development” for lawmakers. “Investments” are when you put your own money forward, not forcibly taking taxes from some to hand out to others in corporate welfare.

These corporate welfare schemes aren’t effective tools for improving our economic climate, and almost no one would defend the all the pork projects worthy of taxpayer subsidy.

“But some of these projects are worthwhile,” you might say. But projects that are meritorious would attract private investors, patrons, and donors (as say, the Commonwealth Foundation does), not rely on political deals in which their “merit” is determined by whose campaign they donated to, how friendly they are with the Governor’s office, and how much seniority their lawmaker has.