Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Old People Suck

Or How my generation has again gotten bitten by the fact that we don't vote

Recently, I've been really pleased with George Will. Linguist Friend once said that Republicans can sometimes be like squirrels. They are primarily interested in stocking things away for themselves and not particularly forward-thinking, but more or less harmless. Squirrel Republicans really don't think it's the government's job to tell us what to do in any real sense, and every time the government tries to do so (by either law enforcement or public health means) it's expensive.

Recently, I've found that squirrel Republicans and I have a lot to talk about in that I really don't think it's a city's business to ban smoking or prevent Wal-mart from moving in or make any other attempt to salvage our collective character, from either the liberal or conservative side.

George Will has been sounding more and more like a squirrel Republican these days. In this morning's Washington Post, he writes about "K street conservatives," essentially, conservatives who have sold out the principles of small government to the lobbyists. Sure, liberals do things for special interest groups, too. But liberals always said they would.

As Will put it: The national pastime is no longer baseball, it is rent-seeking -- bending public power for private advantage.

So far so good, but then Will makes a serious misstep in his praise of John Boehner of Ohio. True, Boehner is not one for pork in the classic Don Young sense, (Don Young* is probably my least favorite member of congress. His incredibly snotty reaction to the Coburn amendment still makes my blood boil when I think about it.) but Boehner has recently seriously screwed the young people of America.

Boehner's new bill raises interest rates, which I can live with, but more importantly prevents students from refinancing their loans. Now, I love the idea of rebuilding New Orleans, but I'd rather Don Young's bridge paid for it than the next generation of American students. The outlawing of student loan refinancing is blatant protectionism for the banks.

George Will should look a little closer. Here's Sallie Mae's Contributions from this election cycle. And here's Sallie Mae's contributions for last election cycle. Sallie Mae gave Boehner the maximum they could give anyone last cycle and are half there already for the cycle that started last year.

Just because Boehner hasn't built any highways doesn't mean he isn't bought and paid for.


*Don Young was responsible for the pork-laden transportation bill and got the
"bridge to nowhere" out of it. Tom Coburn put forth an a law right after Hurricaine Katrina saying that they would take back all that pork and use it to rebuild New Orleans. This is not to say that anybody would be happy that some of their pork money would be taken away, but he threw an unseemly hissy fit over it and it was really a reasonable bill, though a soundly defeated one.
BTW, here's how your senator voted on it.

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