Gigantic congressional bills, crammed with every goodie needed to buy a senator or congressman, filled with little rewards for special interest groups who help the right people, and often jammed with just plain foolishness, are the hallmark of how business has been conducted for many decades in our capitol. The massive healthcare bill passed by Democrats last winter is an excellent example of this messiness. Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amends the Internal Revenue Code so that, beginning in January 2012, a Form 1099 will have to be filled for all purchases of gold which exceed $600. This, of course, has nothing to do with health care at all. It does have to do with collecting yet more money from Americans in income taxes: $17 Billion over the next ten years, the Joint Committee on Taxation reports.
When TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky criticized the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) as being ineffective, he blamed the Treasury Department for not setting clearer goals for that part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Well into the 20th century, coal miners in the United Kingdom and the United States carried canaries into coal mines as an early-warning signal for the leakage of toxic gases including methane and carbon monoxide.
A chain letter that I’ve received four times already about provisions of the cap-and-trade bill that passed the House and is awaiting Senate approval paints a pretty dire picture: “Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act. H.R. 2454, the ‘Cap & Trade’ bill.”