DURST: The Tobacco Industry Tax Break

A one sentence 46 word provision slipped into the humungous tax cut legislation which gave a $50 billion, yes, billion, tax break to the tobacco industry was repealed by a 95 to 3 vote in the Senate yesterday. Not surprising. These days, tobacco is less popular than Mike Wallace at a corporate stockholders annual meeting wearing leiderhosen. No, the surprising news here is nobody knows who wrote the little gift wrapped amendment. I repeat: nobody knows. The Republicans don't know. The Democrats don't know. Congress as usual is clueless. And the Clinton Administration in a knee jerk reaction said the President has no recollection of meeting her. You know what this means, of course? There's some sort of weird parliamentary ghost in Congress with detailed knowledge of arcane legislative protocol and it keeps writing provisions and slipping its handiwork into bills with nobody the wiser. This could explain a lot. We keep wondering why things are more screwed up than a London florists' back order list. Crazed Leprechauns are in charge, that's why. Little blood poisoned hickory smoked gremlins are responsible for running the country. Or maybe it's the spirit of Alexander Hamilton, roaming the Capitol halls with regulatory butt to kick, just looking for a quiet corner to grab a quick smoke. Will Durst is one with Alexander Hamilton.

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