Thursday, June 20, 2002

Super pork

Dave Kopel earned his permalink on this blog with stuff like this about "Superfund".

Read it all. But here is the best passage.
If the people of a given state are unwilling to raise their own taxes (or to cut other government services) in order to pay for the ultra-expensive, over-protective remedies favored by Ms. Kriz, the public's unwillingness suggests that spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make abandoned factories as sanitary as day-care centers isn't a good idea.
Doggone right. The fact is that legislators love having money spent in their district, because some of the money is going to wind up in local pockets. This means that well intentioned legislation like this can be turned into pork by inflating claims about toxic sites. If the locals won't raise the money to fix local messes, why should the rest of us?

If you really have an environmental problem which endangers your life and health, or that of your family, you either get out or otherwise start dealing with it immediately. If you have time to wait for lawyers to settle on how it's paid for first, then your problem must not be critical. If the do-gooders want this, let them pay for it themselves instead of funding it through what amounts to random taxation. Otherwise they don't get the negative feedback needed to impose restraint.

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