HIGHTOWER: Polluter Pork Protectors

Here they come! The Polluter Pork Protectors -- a brigade of our preposterous "public servants" in Congress who consistently vote to give taxpayer subsidies to polluters.That's right -- these lawmakers take tax dollars from us to give to corporations so they can wreak havoc on our environment. And you thought Congress didn't have a sense of humor!Well get ready to chuckle at the madcap antics of the merry pranksters in Congress who are handing out subsidies to timber companies, coal-mine operators, nuclear-power builders, gold-mining conglomerates, utilities and other power houses of American pollution. They gave $40 million, for example, to Westinghouse and GE to finance their application for a nuclear power license -- shouldn't these two pay for their own application? Also, Congress gave $200 million to subsidize private roads for the exclusive use of timber companies in our national forests -- a road building program that already is nine times as big as our national highway system.Guess which lawmakers are the most enthusiastic clowners in support of these boondoggles? Why the very ones who have shouted so long and loud for a balanced budget -- like Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, who did not vote even once last year to cut polluter pork. What a clown -- he'll make you laugh 'til you cry!Here's an extra giggle for you on Senator Craig: He has taken nearly $300,000 in campaign funds from the polluters whose pork he is protecting.The U.S. Public Interest Research Group -- US PIRG -- has just issued a report revealing that polluting corporations gave $47 million in campaign contributions in the last six years alone and, in turn, Congress handed them $23 BILLION in taxpayer subsidies. what a bunch of jokers, huh?To get the last laugh on them, call US PIRG at 202/546-9707.

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