Saturday, January 2, 2010

Joseph O. Patton: Troy King’s hypocrisy on the “Cornhusker Kickback”

  The pot has formally called the kettle black… and while we’re at it, I’m calling Troy King an insufferable hypocrite.

  King - along with a coven of other Republican state attorneys general - is calling for an investigation into the deal-making as part of the recently drafted health care reforms in the U.S. Senate, specifically concessions made to the state of Nebraska in order to land the support of Senator Ben Nelson.

  Whether you approve of the wheeling and dealing, such quid pro quo, back-scratching bargaining is the hallmark of all America’s representative bodies, from Congress to each and every state legislature and even city councils and county commissions. If you have issues with such practices, you might want to reconsider our form of government - a representative democracy ain’t always pretty, y'all! But would you prefer socialism, communism or even a theocracy or a totalitarian form of government though?

  King’s claim that this rush to investigation isn’t “political” is like Bill Cosby claiming he doesn’t like Pudding Pops. Each participating attorney is a Republican and the target of the investigation is of course a Democrat. Doing that math doesn’t require a calculator.

  The jaw-dropping hypocrisy involved here is that King and his cohorts are only calling for blood because the beneficiary in this case isn’t their state. If the State of Alabama were reaping the benefit, much like Nelson’s Nebraska, King would be running around, leaping for joy like an overly excited child at Disney World and making every excuse imaginable for the preferential treatment. They’re simply miffed because they didn’t land a big, sweet piece of this particular pie for themselves.

  And lest we forget, Alabama is one of the biggest, most glaring beneficiaries of federal dollars in the country. Translation: Sweet Home Alabama is a big ole welfare state. So how can the public possibly fall for this rouse, earnestly believing and agreeing with the likes of King when in fact we as Alabamians are already getting far more than we pay into the system, and yet we somehow feel justified in bashing a state like Nebraska for finally getting a little piece? As one of my favorite pastors was fond of reminding the congregation: Whenever you point your finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing back at yourself.

  Just a few examples:

-In 2004, the State of Alabama received $1.70 from the federal government for every mere dollar its citizens paid into the system.

-In 2005, strictly in terms of military spending, Alabama landed a sizable $2.52 for every dollar paid in, making it the 6th largest state recipient in federal military spending per capita in the country. In the same year, Alabama had the 10th highest chunk of military procurement contracts, receiving more per capita than much larger, higher-paying states like New York. Also Alabama spent $2.06 in federal dollars for every dollar it paid in, 8th in the nation in such expenditures the same year. As a point of reference, in that same year Nebraska only spent $0.79 in federal dollars for each dollar it paid in, going in the hole $0.21 for each dollar it paid in.

-In 2006, Alabama spent only $1,100 of its own money on its Medicaid recipients, yet spent a total of nearly $4,000 per recipient. Translation: Nearly three-fourths of the total expended per recipient came from federal funds, someone else’s tax money, not paid in by Alabamians.

  And these numbers have shifted little in the past few years - Alabama is still one of the biggest recipients of federal dollars, money its citizens did not pay into the system.

  King has been quoted as saying that Alabamians should not be forced to pay for subsidizing Nebraska’s Medicaid program. Quite humorous and hypocritical when you consider the whole country is subsidizing one program or another in Alabama, involuntarily paying taxes in states like New York or California only to have their tax dollars float downstream to benefit Alabamians. King reminds me of a greedy, selfish child who on Christmas morning insists on opening everyone else’s gifts in addition to their own… and still wanting more.

  Gov. Bob Riley has also jumped onto the bandwagon, supporting the investigation and even encouraging the participants to widen the probe. If Riley were sincere and had a shred of honesty and fairness remaining in his soul, he’d put his money where his mouth is and start sending back every penny the Fed sends to our state in excess of what we’ve paid in. Fair is fair, right?

  Not to mention, these are the same self-professed “conservatives” who always bemoan taxation in general and most any form of federal spending. And yet, they are nonetheless the first to step in line with their hands outstretched begging for goodies from Washington.

  King’s laughable crusade isn’t very politically savvy either. The time-worn folk wisdom most certainly applies: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. In case King hasn’t kept up with the news - and I know that’s pretty much impossible if you’re busy swallowing the biased rot and Republican National Committee talking points on Fox News -  those Old South Republicans no longer control Congress and thus aren’t in the same position to so liberally funnel tax dollars into Alabama. He’s endangering his own state’s gravy train with these actions.

  Please, fair reader, pass this along to Troy King and his comrades and don‘t be fooled by their misguided, self-righteous and hypocritical claims of the Fed‘s so-called preferential treatment of Nebraska in the Senate health care bill… after all, Nebraska and most other states have a long way to go to reach Alabama’s current level of federal handouts and freebies. As John Adams once said: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

1 comment:

  1. Good commentary, Joseph. I hope that Troy gets a copy of this.