What do you call a congressional bill that pays for a "necessary" program with a funding source the sponsors of the bill vow to eliminate?
A pile of offal is the correct answer but since we’re in Washington DC this offal is known as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The sponsors of legislation to expand the program scream that a presidential veto will be disastrous for the nation’s children yet their own pens have written disaster into the bill by funding the expansion with just one source; cigarette taxes. As a bizarre selling point the sponsors say that increasing the cigarette tax will reduce smoking. Less smoking, less SCHIP revenue. And they say the President, who vows to veto this mess, is stupid?
Norman Kjono has been working members of Congress and has uncovered evidence that not all members of Congress are delusional. It turns out a rational bill to increase SCHIP coverage was written by a Republican congressman, funded with tax credits rather than cigarette taxes. Unfortunately, this bill was ignored because the upper echelon of the Democrat party is wed to the agenda of the pharmaceutical industry, which looks to high places to further its goal of selling smoking cessation snake oil to smokers who can no longer afford to smoke. To hell with the children is the real message from the U.S. Congress.