Jan 282009
Authors: Caleb Thornton

I can tell already that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is going to be good to me for the next couple of months.

She is just so easy to pick on. Let’s face it, the woman is terrifying to look at — rivaled only in her appearance possibly by Emperor Palpatine and maybe even Carrot Top. But most importantly, the speaker has a habit of making statements so nonsensical that even those on her side of the isle can’t help but squirm a little.

For example, let’s take the recent statements made by the speaker in an interview with George Stephanopoulos.

During the interview which aired over the weekend, Speaker Pelosi was asked by Stephanopoulos about her plan to include millions of dollars of assistance to family planning services in the economic bailout package, specifically how such action would stimulate the economy.

Her answer?

“Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those — one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”

If you don’t realize just exactly what the Speaker is saying here, then let me clear it up for you.

In her infinite wisdom, the speaker of the House has decided that in order to stimulate the economy, the government should fund services that promote contraception, thereby reducing costs to the state, presumably by limiting the amount of children taxpayers have, thus lessening the state’s burden to care for another individual within society.

Put simply: Wear a condom, stimulate the economy.

But honestly, this logic should not surprise anyone. Time and time again, when the government is given a blank check, and told to go fix a problem you can just about guarantee that at the federal level some of that check is going to be spent on something that has absolutely nothing to do with actually solving the problem.

Of course as I write this on Monday night, reports are already surfacing that House Democrats may be backing down on this idea entirely, perhaps under the pressure that simple logic might bring, but don’t let that fool you.

Regardless of whether or not this plan actually goes through, this small instance gives us all a quick hint at where Speaker Pelosi and her Democratic House allies’ priorities lie.

The economy might be in the tank, the federal deficit may continue to break records, and we may still be dependent on foreign oil, but House Democrats will be damned if they don’t get us our free condoms.

And if there is one thing I can guarantee will happen in the upcoming congressional session it is this: The federal government will spend your taxpayer dollars on programs and pet-projects that will have very little, if nothing to do with actually solving the pressing issues that this country actually faces.

It’s government spending at its finest. And to think, it’s only been a week.

Caleb Thornton is a senior political science major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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