Your tax dollars at work

Let me see if I have this straight:

The White House and the Republicans in Congress, with the help of some tame Democrats and the AARP, push through a Medicare bill that’s a policy disaster with an estimated price tag of $400 billion.

Then it comes out that the actual price tag (for the same inadequate set of benefits) is actually $525 billion, and the White House knew it. Congress plans to revisit the bill this year.

Then the White House decides to spend $10 million provided in the bill for “implementation” — in apparent defiance of the ban on using public funds for lobbying —

on slick, dishonest TV ads promoting the bill as good policy.

[Well, the bill certainly was good policy for Billy Tauzin, chair of House Energy & Commerce and the main shepard of the bill, who has just resigned his chairmanship and is about to quit Congress to become the chief lobbyist for Big Pharma. Knowing that Tauzin is an ex-Democrat makes you sort of proud to be a Democrat, doesn’t it? Considering the alternative, I mean.]

It now comes out that one of the Bush ’00 campaign’s media consultants is going to pocket $1 million for buying the media time.

CBS, which refused the Move-On anti-deficit ad on the grounds that it doesn’t allow “issue advertising,” plans to run the ads.

Really, you can’t make this stuff up.

Update Elisabeth Riba finds the published CBS policy on issue ads. The Medicare ads clearly fall into the forbidden category.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “Your tax dollars at work”

  1. Sauce for the Goose

    CBS refused to run an ad criticizing the Bush Administration's spend-and-borrow deficit program during the Super Bowl, although the network said it had nothing in particular to do with the game:Viacom's CBS today rejected a request from liberal group M…

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