When it comes to one of their pet issues, the Pulse is happy to whine about pork and its opportunity costs (children’s Medicaid, for example). I’ve spent a lot of time explain why expanding children’s Medicaid is counterproductive – damaging even – to our healthcare system. But with this post, I’ll settle for pointing out that just last year, N.C. Policy Watch was jumping to the defense of all the pork-barrell spending and ridiculing Civitas for even questioning it.
The best part? Rob Schofield includes the following items, calling them "things we [Civitas] don’t like":
“Opera Company of North Carolina – $25,000 NR”
“Women’s Health Services – $200,000 R”
“Water Quality Monitoring on Ferry Vessels – $300,000 NR”
“Shellfish Restoration Funds – $300,000 NR”
“Money to nonprofit for documentary on Jewish life in N.C. – $250,000 NR”
Now that the senate has wisely turned its back (for now) on putting middle class kids on socialized medicine, the wingeing ensues. Consider this from Chris Fitzsimon:
There is $2.7 million in the Senate budget for renovation of the polar exhibit at the zoo and another $4.3 million for an oyster hatchery…
Suddenly shellfish and polor bears count as pork by the Pulse’s lights! Funny how they change their tune when it’s convenient. Or maybe they wouldn’t call it pork. Maybe they’d call it something else. But insignificant semantic distinctions won’t hide the fact that they’re eager to point out unnecessary spending when it’s convenient. (Hey, no one ever said they had consistency or principles.)
I consider this something of a learning curve for our lefty friends. I lift my coffee to celebrate their small victory. At least they are beginning to understand the concept of scarcity and trade-offs. A shame they don’t get why S-Chip is terrible for U.S. healthcare.
(Update: see Brian Balfour’s earmark reports for this and last sessions… You be the judge whether or not the requests are porcine.)