“A job? But how would I make any money?” ~Hunter Thompson
“Sneak" legislation has become Washington's most effective instrument of duplicity. To be specific, a "sneak" bill is an almost invisible addendum-no more than a few sentences long-tucked into an obscure part of some multibillion-dollar omnibus legislation. Although "sneak" bills have been around since Congress first began to pull the wool over our eyes, in the early nineteenth century, it has achieved a level of refinement with those embedded in the staggering multi trillion budget bill passed in the last gasp of 2011 (the enacted 2011 budget called for $2.314 trillion in receipts and $3.630 trillion in outlays, according to the September 1, 2011 Mid-Session Review) by the most lackluster Congress since the one Harry Truman ran against for reelection back in 1948.
Some of the not so long ago (1980’s) sleazier special-interest deals, and by 2011 standards just “chicken feet”, cut at the last minute that have come to light. In one, a Representative of Alabama, who took trips on an Army Corps of Engineers jet, managed to "sneak" into the budget a rider that blocked the sale of that aircraft, despite the fact that the Army Audit Agency had strongly recommended it. Then, there's the infamous "sneak" manipulated by a Senator, Democrat of Massachusetts, a man with a reputation for fixing matters-and for getting even. He folded in an almost invisible "billette" that the FCC must not bend its rules and permit a publisher virtually unlimited time to sell its newspaper and television interests in New York and Boston, including a rag that criticized him.
Admiring the striking success of these publicized "sneak" bills, I thought of a few deals I'd make-like passing immediate legislation to change the election process. Then I began to dream of what other "sneak" legislation I'd hatch if only I could.
An appropriation to the arts-amounting to, say, a paltry $1,000,000,000.
Every luxury hut- say, those costing over 10 million bucks- will be taxed 5 percent. Proceeds will go toward permanent housing for the homeless.
Vacations are to become tax deductible. The longer and more lavish they are, the bigger the deductions.
A landing fee of $1,675,500,416 for every alien aircraft, which should prod the FAA to gear up its technology.
A defense budget equal to the square root of .000018 percent of the monthly dining bill of the ondehundred top lobbyists in the military-industrial complex.
A chicken in every microwave
An American car in every garage
The transfer to Nebraska of all federal funds allotted to New York until Wall Street states (under oath) what really happened in 2008
Tax penalties up to 101 percent for every forthcoming politician or CEO who wishes to write his or her memoirs (especially those "as told to")
One trip to London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Dublin, Vienna, Zurich, Montreal, Melbourne, Hamilton, Moscow, Stockholm, or Mexico City per year for each U.S. citizen. Free, on those Army Corps of Engineers jets. Round-trip.
Five years' mandatory military service to anybody in politics who gets caught either fibbing or with someone else (overnight) other than his or her spouse, which ought to take care of the draft-and the defense budget, too.
Rain only at night
Snow in designated areas
The wind at the back of every citizen
From now on, no "sneak" legislation will be allowed to pass without a thirty-day public airing