Our own Colorado Springs homeboy, Attorney General John Suthers, penned an eminently sensible op-ed column yesterday regarding the so-called ‘Nebraska Compromise.’
For those of you who ignored the nasty horse-trading that Senate majority leader Harry Reid had to do to get 60 votes for the health care bill, the ‘Nebraska Compromise’ is better described as the ‘Nelson Bribe.’
Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, whose talents may be better suited to the World Poker Tour than to the mundane work of the United States Senate, refused to be the 60th vote unless a particularly noisome, Nebraska-friendly provision was inserted into the bill.
As Suthers pointed out, this sweet little morsel of permanent pork exempted Nebraska, alone among the 50 states, “from any additional(Medicaid) burden and requires that the other 49 states absorb the cost of covering any new Nebraska Medicaid recipients.”
Suthers couches his criticism of this absolutely outrageous maneuver in polite, lawyerly terms-but you don’t have to be admitted to the bar (and no, I don’t mean Tony’s) to realize that the deal stinks.
This isn’t just business as usual-this is, as Suthers notes, both egregiously unfair and almost certainly unconstitutional.
If cunning lawmakers can exempt their states from federal mandates, to the detriment of their peers, I’ve got an agenda for Senators Bennet and Udall!
For starters, why should Coloradans pay income taxes? And why should we pay inheritance taxes? And why shouldn’t the post office deliver mail without charge, and stay open on Sundays? And shouldn’t we all have free universal health care? And what about Social Security? Coloradans should be able to collect $5,000 per month starting at age 40, regardless of earnings history-thus enabling us to take better advantage of our state’s magnificent recreational opportunities, without having to spend our most productive years chained to our desks!
Now that I think about it, Suthers lacks Nelson’s daring vision. Rather than criticize this great Nebraska statesman (I’ll bet that’s the first time anyone has written that particular phrase), we should emulate him.
Senator Bennet, Senator Udall, your constituents are waiting. You might start by overturning the results of yesterday’s lamentable excuse for a football game, by introducing legislation barring teams from scoring more than 14 points when playing against the Broncos. Now that’d be a start-and I’m sure that Senator Nelson would support you. Of course, you might have to insert a phrase barring teams from scoring any points at all against the Cornhuskers-but hey, compromise is the name of the game, isn’t it?