“A Hill to Die On”

That’s what Red State calls the Coburn Amendment. The Coburn Amendment may prove to be a historic rallying point for the forces of limited government and fiscal sanity. Then again, it may not. But it’s a good place to start. The amendment is very simple: it proposes to redirect the ridiculous $220 million earmarked for the Alaskan “bridge to nowhere” to Hurricane Katrina relief; specifically, reconstruction of the Twin Spans Bridge that connects New Orleans with Slidell, Louisiana.

Red State says that the “Bridge to Nowhere” will cost enough to buy every one of the 50 residents of Gravina Island a Lear Jet. It’s hard to see how anyone will justify voting against Coburn’s amendment, so the forces of reaction are reported to be fighting to keep it from coming to a vote.

If there is to be a war, why not let it begin here? Write your Congressman.

Via Power Line News.

UPDATE: Several current and former residents of Alaska are irate about our references to the Bridge to Nowhere, especially the implication that the bridge would only benefit the island’s 50 residents. Fair enough. The bridge obviously would benefit those who want to get onto the island, as well as those who want to get off it. I don’t think that materially affects the point, however. I haven’t seen anyone try to justify the expenditure of $220 million on the bridge to Gravina Island, and I can’t imagine how it could be considered a higher priority than rebuilding the Twin Spans bridge in New Orleans. So, even though it is certainly correct that traffic going both ways on the bridge must be taken into account in any cost-benefit analysis, I don’t see how that can change the conclusion that it is irrational to build tne bridge in light of its exorbitant cost, or in light of higher priority needs elsewhere.


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