d.c. follies – H.R. 1256

Hot off the presses with this one..”Tough new anti-smoking legislation pases house/senate…headed for President Obama’s signature…”  IT’s all over the internet headlines, television talking heads are blathering about new larger warnings on cigarette packages as instructed by the FDA.

Now, while all of this is true, yours truly – fueled by some recent insane curiosity for what the gang in DC is really up to – took a quick peek at the bill and it’s 80+ amendments.  To be fair, the bulk of the amendments stay on topic, including grants to:

Airway Biology and Disease Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2010 and such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2014 (sounds like a blank cheque to me)

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering – $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2010 and such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2014

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences – $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2010 and such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2014

There’s an additional $15M outlay to another group…must have missed the name on that one…

all of this going toward the desired goal of…”a comprehensive program to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the mortality rate of lung cancer by 2016.”

OK, so far this is pretty much in line with what the bill intends. But you know….the folks in DC cannot leave well enough alone…

Other items that were added…

Officially declaring North Korea a terrorist nation until all U.S. political prisoners are released and their nuclear program is dismantled.

The Drive America Forward Program – what this comes down to is the government will be providing vouchers to car dealers, up to $4,500 per vehicle (which is supposed to be passed on to the consumer….right) every time a customer trades in a “qualifying vehicle” for a new, more fuel efficient vehicle. The definition for the new vehicle is an increase of fuel efficiency of 2 to 3 MPG over the traded in vehicle. This is the 100,000 ft view. Here are the details if you are so inclined.  The one provision thrown in all the way at the end raises my cynical eyebrow…

(1) DATABASE.–The Secretary shall maintain a database of the vehicle identification numbers of all new fuel efficient vehicles purchased or leased and all eligible trade-in vehicles disposed of under the Program.

There’s another strange provision for Secret Service employees hired in 1984, 5 or 6 to have their Federal Retirement benefits transferred from the Fedreal Thrift Program to the District of Columbia Police and Fire Fighter Retirement and Disability System.  Not sure what that’s all about.  The way it reads, though, is that the employees lose their social security benefits as part of the transfer.  The DC system must be a sweetheart deal…

There’s also a provision to allow for repayment of loans and tuition for people getting their Masters or PHds in the nursing field.  Granted…we are facing a nursing shortage…

And, of course, continued supports for tobacco growers while forcing cigarette manufacturers to decrease their annual production by 1% each year or pay stiff fines….prohibition for cigarettes??????

Your tax dollars at work…

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4 Comments

Filed under america, government, politics

4 responses to “d.c. follies – H.R. 1256

  1. What they did not say is that taxes on tobacco products along with the money from the big lawsuit settlement make up a substantial portion of federal and state revenues. They will need to make that up somehow if the smoking rate keeps dropping.

    Bill

  2. Jeremy

    Once again government sticks it nose in to the buisness of regular citizens and tells us what is good for us instead of letting the people make the decission for themselves. No doubt another tax increase will follow. I hope all of you that voted for Obama are pleased with the course our once great country is on. I’m not.

  3. They have to pick on something since they know that you just can’t pick on alcohol too much, even though that may kill you much faster than smoking.

  4. you need to be president. that is all.

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