Commentary

Billís ticks

While looking into helium privatization (see previous post), I came across Clinton’s 1995 State of the Union address in which he mentions the recently-axed program by name:

We propose to cut $130 billion in spending by shrinking departments, extending our freeze on domestic spending, cutting 60 public housing programs down to three, getting rid of over 100 programs we do not need, like the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Helium Reserve Program.

Then, moments later, this rather strange admission:

For years, Congress concealed in the budget scores of pet spending projects. Last year was no different. There was $1 million to study stress in plants, and $12 million for a tick removal program that didn’t work. It’s hard to remove ticks; those of us who have had them know.

Then right back to business as usual:

But, I’ll tell you something; if you’ll give me the line-item veto, I’ll remove some of that unnecessary spending.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.