CONGRESSIONAL SELF-DEALING ALIVE & WELL:
Legislation That Would Enrich Select Special Interest Groups
to Be Voted on This Week -- A News Release from the
National Center for Public Policy Research
By David Almasi
"The only heritage celebrated in this bill is the unfortunately strong tradition of congressional self-dealing to pet special interests," said Peyton Knight, Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs for the National Center. "The rhetoric from Congress about reigning in spending and eliminating earmarks is apparently just that -- rhetoric, and nothing else. This bill would establish permanent pork pipelines to numerous members' districts."
National heritage areas are creations of Congress in which special interest groups, whose work, at times, has been funded through secret Congressional earmarks, team up with the National Park Service to influence decisions over local land use previously made exclusively by elected local governments and private landowners.
For instance, the special interest group lobbying for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground heritage area (which has been quietly slipped into the Grijalva bill) received an anonymous one million-dollar earmark in the 2005 transportation bill. Incredibly, the group wasn't even incorporated at the time. This is an instance where one pork-barrel earmark was distributed to bolster support for another pork-barrel earmark.
Congressman Jeff Flake (Republican - Arizona) has observed: "[O]nce a federal line is drawn around property for a heritage area, the door for annual federal earmarks and grants is opened."
According to figures from the National Taxpayers Union, the Celebrating America's Heritage Act's $135+ million price tag is equal to the annual federal income taxes paid by 33,276 middle class Americans. Ironically, it is the middle class that stands to lose the most, as heritage area interest groups are typically hostile to property rights and frequently use their muscle to restrict land use and make housing more expensive for middle-income buyers.
Earlier this month, The National Center delivered a coalition letter to congressional leaders signed by a diverse group of 114 think tanks, local government officials, civil rights organizations, grassroots leaders, farmers, ranchers and sportsmen calling on Congress to oppose the creation of any new national heritage areas.
"Despite cries for more accountability, less self-dealing and stronger property rights protections, Congress is putting forth legislation designed to enrich pet interest groups and erode Americans' property rights," said Knight.
The American Political System:
Politics & Government in the U.S.A.
Fiscal Policy: Taxation & Government Spending
Political Environmentalism Versus Human Progress & Prosperity:
Policy Issues Relating to Energy, Environment,
& Natural Resources
The U.S. Constitution & the American Economic Order:
Civil Liberties -- Private Property Rights
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, non-profit educational foundation based in Washington, D.C. The NCPPR is a Conservative think tank and communications and research institute supporting a strong military defense of the U.S.A. and its true allies, advocating foreign and military policies that serve American national interests and uphold U.S. national sovereignty, opposing policies that increase the political power of the United Nations at the expense of the constitutional authority of American national, state and local governments, defending the private enterprise capitalist economic system and the rights of private property owners, opposing political environmentalism, socalled "sustainable development policy" and all other forms of statism and socialism, and seeking to provide free market solutions to contemporary issues and problems of public policy.
As Executive Director of the National Center for Public Policy Research, David Almasi directs the National Center's media
relations, provides staff support to Project 21, and has other important management duties and responsibilities. Almasi has
served as Media Programs Director for Defenders of Property Rights, Accuracy in Media, and Putting People First. An
experienced writer, his commentaries have appeared in numerous periodicals, including such newspapers as The
Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post, The Detroit Free Press, The Orlando Sentinel, The
Miami Herald, and The Houston Chronicle. Almasi is co-author, with David Ridenour, of Nicaragua's
Continuing Revolution (Signal Books, 1990).
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS
POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE
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