In case you have not already heard, the 700 Billion dollar bail out passed both the house and the senate and president bush is set to sign it. Along with this 700 billion dollar bail out plan, was an additional 150 billion in tax breaks in a variety of different areas, some good, and some obviously taking care of some special interest.
With a vote of 263-171 the house passed the new version of the bill which failed days earlier. The senate knew what they were doing when they added 150 billion in popular tax breaks and essentially buy the verdict from both the Democrats and Republicans. The original bill, which in my opinion was not a good bill, essentially letting the government control much of the private sector giving them more power and leading the nation towards a socialist future, was squashed by both sides a week earlier. So, the senate went back and instead of passing the “Good” (better than nothing) energy bill that was on the table, to extend tax credits for alternative energies and hybrids, the senate killed that bill and added those subsidies into the “Bailout Bill”, which was a bold and smart move to get more Democratic Reps. on their side. Along with a laundry list of other special interest tax breaks like subsidies for race tracks and bow and arrow manufacturers, the senate effectively bought our representatives’ votes and passed their bailout bill.
We have been actively pushing for the tax credits which passed yesterday for over a year, calling senators and representatives, signing petitions and much more, but to finally get what we wanted, though a bribe, makes victory… not so sweet. While I am happy that solar and wind subsidies have been extended for 8 years and now pulg-in hybrids will get up to $7,500 in tax credits, I am still disappointed that our reps and senators wouldn’t pass these things for the right reasons, and had to be bribed. Now 700 billion dollars of our hard earned tax dollars is going to God knows where to fund God knows what, because with no oversight, we truly will not know.