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"How Democracy Works in America Today"

Many people have now heard of the $230 million that is being set aside for a bridge in Alaska that will connect a town of 8,000 people and an island with 50 people living there. Jacob Hornburger, president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, tells a story at LewRockwell.com that is equally upsetting to those who believe in fiscal restraint. He notes that Rep. Rick Boucher (D) had requested $400,000 in the recently enacted transportation bill to renovate a local train station in Bristol, Virginia. Sen. John Warner (R) requested $1 million for the same project.

Hornburger first asks, "So what did Congress do?" and then answers, "It simply combined the two numbers and awarded Bristol officials a grant of $1.4 million." He then writes, "Yet isn't the entire process nothing more than a corrupt way to purchase votes in advance of an election? Rather than simply stuff cash into the hands of individual voters, which would be illegal, they stuff grants of cash into the hands of local public officials and ask their constituents to return them to office so that they can do more of the same." He then paraphrases the 19th century Frenchman Frederic Bastiat, saying "the federal highway bill provides a good example of how the federal government has become a fiction by which everyone is trying to live at the expense of everyone else."