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Sandy aid should be pork-free

Congress has proposed a bill for some $60 billion for relief for people caught up in the destruction from Hurricane Sandy ("Sandy aid bill would include more for Md.," Dec. 20). Interestingly enough, not only The Sun but Washington newspapers reported on this and also offered the observation that the GOP was delaying passage of the bill because they wanted it decreased.

It appears, however, that much of that $60 billion is pork. According to several Republican congressmen, there is $188 million for an Amtrak project, $5.3 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for unspecified projects, $125 million for restoring watersheds destroyed by wildfires and drought and $50 million in subsidies for tree planting on private property.

So, once again Congress loads pork-barrel spending into a bill intended to help people hit by natural disaster taking full advantage of the fact the emergency aid bill needs to be enacted. Congress must think that the voting population is too stupid to see what they are doing is only feathering their own nests by wasting money on projects that that probably don't merit aid.

Wait a minute. Congress does know that the voting population is stupid since they re-elect the same people year after year despite the obvious waste. And so we go deeper in debt and those that need help are ignored. A truly sad commentary.

August J Nicastro, Forest Hill

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