December 9, 2007
Auctioning Off Nevada
As cornucopias go, it is hard to top what has been happening in Nevada. Local governments have been cashing in on the sale of federal lands to spare their taxpayers the tab for a raft of amenities that include parks and shooting ranges. That’s right: the federal government has auctioned off thousands of acres in the last decade under an unusual law that channels most of the proceeds into an account set aside for projects in Nevada.
It is federal spending that comes earmarked for environmental projects. But much of the money has paid for a wide array of urban and suburban projects: a county shooting park, picnic grounds, subsidies for schoolbooks and teachers’ salaries, expenses that local governments elsewhere pay for with local taxes or bond issues. The obvious question is why federal lands should be tapped like some desert A.T.M., forcing taxpayers in the 49 other states to subsidize the booming regional growth around Las Vegas.
. . . The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, a Democrat who just happens to be from Nevada, is a big supporter of the program.
A lot of us suspected that the 2006 mid-term elections really hadn't changed much. But we did think the Democrats would feed the country some victories prior to 2008.
Nancy Pelosi has turned into (or maybe always was) some sort of power-mad madam of the house, complete with all that infers about pimping.
Harry Reid stumbles and mumbles his way inelegantly and fecklessly through dreary concession after concession to the true powers in the Senate--of which he is not one.
And these are the 'leaders' we have stuck ourselves with after seven years of Republican treason. In a time for honor and forthright leadership, we are left with shrill partisanship and uninspiring pedestrian followership. Both are ships with fatally flawed captains.
Add to that the evidence at hand that both leaders are irreparably connected to the earmark society they so vociferously attacked as minority leaders. It's possible they are just unable to stay clear of the trough now that it's more nearly theirs to slop.
Harry, you're a ten-cent politician in a high-stakes game and it shows.