Bailout legislation impossible to read

I don’t have a law degree. I don’t have 12 hours to read the full text of the bailout bill that the Senate is debating right now. The average person should be able to read this crap – or at least use the Ctrl+f key to do a keyword search in the damn thing.

So I go over to Malkin’s site figuring I could find a link to the full text of the bailout bill – now branded as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 – to review it. Malkin and other sites have information about all of the ENTITLEMENT BRIBERY/PORK that has been attached to this bill.

I want to do some research, open the PDF and go to work.

I see a section 110 concerning “assistance to homeowners” in the table of contents. I do a search on “110” and no results. It’s there, but I can’t get there quick.

Maybe it’s my version of Acrobat.

There is no reason this document should not be available in a Web format that is easy to search.

Off my soapbox. I don’t have the time for this. I grabbed the free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader and loaded it.

Anyway, Malkin picked out some add-ons that have nothing to do with the mortgage and financial bailouts; and this was just the stuff found in the first couple of hours. HotAir has more.

  • Film and Television Productions (Sec. 502)
  • Wooden Arrows designed for use by children (Sec. 503)
  • Six page package of earmarks for litigants in the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident, Alaska (Sec. 504)
  • Wool Research (Sec. 325)

Tax earmark “extenders” in the bailout bill.

  • Virgin Island and Puerto Rican Rum (Section 308)
  • American Samoa (Sec. 309)
  • Mine Rescue Teams (Sec. 310)
  • Mine Safety Equipment (Sec. 311)
  • Domestic Production Activities in Puerto Rico (Sec. 312)
  • Indian Tribes (Sec. 314, 315)
  • Railroads (Sec. 316)
  • Auto Racing Tracks (317)
  • District of Columbia (Sec. 322)

Here’s some other stuff I found.

  • Lots and lots of extensions for tax deductions – example: elementary and secondary teacher expenses (Title II, Sec. 203)
  • $3.3 billion in rural school aid. (Title VI, Sec. 601)
  • Alternative minimum tax changes – almost $80 billion in tax breaks for middle class taxpayers that might fall into the AMT category1. (Title I, Sec. 101)
  • A demand that health insurance companies provide coverage for mental health treatment, including hospital admission, the same way insurance companies treat regular illnesses. If you’re wondering why your health insurance premiums go up, look no further than unfunded mandates. (Section 506, Subtitle B)
  • There is disaster aid in there for those hit by Hurricane Ike and floods in the Midwest. (Section 701)
  • There was a bunch of “disaster” bills passed after big events like Katrina. Many of those tax credits and programs expired, but this bill brings a bunch of them back to date by removing expiration dates or extending them. They even did stuff like removing the word “Katrina” and replacing it with terms like “disasters” so they can cover a wider net.
  • Yes, the secretary of the Treasury has the authority to contact foreign banks and see if they hold paper that is no good. Those troubled assets qualify to b purchased by our government. Talk about a fraud alert! (Section 112)
  • Something about extending “the deductibility of state and local taxes for people in states without income taxes”.
  • The entire HOPE for Homeowners stuff should be trashed. Those who can not afford to buy a house should not be buying a house. Yes, there seems to be provisions to encourage

More added…

  • Credits for residential energy efficient property (Sec. 106) extending solar energy credits, stuff for wind turbines and geothermal heat pumps. Some of that may be extensions of previous laws.
  • New clean renewable energy bonds (Sec. 107)
  • Credits for steel industry fuel? Something about companies who use coal for fuel instead of barrels of oil? Who knows…
  • Sec. 111 starts talking carbon offsets – goodness… – and using new coal technology? All I know is I see figures like $2.55 billion in there…
  • Ahh, funding of the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund in section 113.
  • Lots of coal legislation in there… Can anyone say Senator Byrd?
  • Credits for carbon dioxide sequestration (Sec. 115)
  • Sec. 202 has credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel – whatever that is.
  • Sec. 204 has an extension and modification of the alternative fuel credit.
  • Tons of other stuff like credits for plug-in vehicles.

Do I have to go on?

1 – Note that I’m all for tax breaks and the AMT is a mess, but don’t you have to be close to the top 12 percent of family income to get into the AMT area? Doesn’t Obama consider these folks rich?

Posted in

Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.

The website's content and articles were migrated to a new framework in October 2023. You may see [shortcodes in brackets] that do not make any sense. Please ignore that stuff. We may fix it at some point, but we do not have the time now.

You'll also note comments migrated over may have misplaced question marks and missing spaces. All comments were migrated, but trackbacks may not show.

The site is not broken.