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Our Own Worst Enemy

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Laying aside my social conservatism, I also happen to believe that our
government spends money like a drunken sailor on a Saturday Night in
port--and just as judiciously.

Yet I understand that ASCE has "expressed its displeasure about the F.Y.
2002 appropriations for Commerce Department programs to both the House and
Senate Appropriations Committees."

The news blurb on Page 10 of Structural Engineer magazine describes how
ASCE's lobbyists have been whining about Bush's proposed budget cutbacks.

This seems to me to be, in a nutshell, why our taxes are too high, why
spending is out of control, and why there seems to be no end to it in sight.

First of all, I'd like to point out--once again--the continuing use of the
word "budget cut" as used by ASCE in its complaints to Congress. You see, a
"budget cut" doesn't mean the same thing to politicians, lobbyists and
bureaucrats in Washington that it does to the rest of America. "Budget cut"
in Washingtonese means "a cut in the RATE OF GROWTH." Budgets are never
actually CUT; rather, they don't rise as fast as they have in the past. So
for example, when they talk about an "eight percent cut at NIST," what they
really mean is "well, it has been a 15% increase yearly, but now it's only
7%! Outrageous!"

It's just sad to see a group that supposedly represents the interests of a
large segment of taxpaying America, U.S. Civil Engineers, bloviating about
wanting government to continue its neverending expansion.

But then again, I've worked for C.E. firms, and those people are most
certainly hogs at the public trough. They feed off the fat of the
government's expanding girth, so I guess it isn't such a surprise when you
think about it.

What a joke, though. I think I've about had it with ASCE anyway. This is
probably the nail in the coffin for me.

William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, Texas
Phone 281-492-2251
Fax 281-492-8203


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