Wednesday, August 04, 2021

The Bipartisan Process

I think this is a very generous portrayal of the sausage factory, I mean The Greatest Deliberative Body In The History Of The Universe.
The bill text shows how high the stakes are for getting something better through. The bipartisan infrastructure package includes only $73 billion to upgrade the entire nation’s flailing electrical grid and $39.5 billion for public transit. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will get $11.6 billion to build things that will dredge rivers and control floods, and $4.7 billion for cleaning up orphaned gas wells. Those numbers are far too low—but because I haven’t had 12 hours to pore through the relevant studies, I can’t tell you by precisely how much. What I can tell you is that these bill numbers are mostly made up by the team of senators who haggled over them. The numbers at some point may have corresponded to a real need, as articulated by a think tanker who transmitted their PDF to a congressional staffer who made a recommendation to their boss, who then maybe also talked to a corporate lobbyist about it. The process by which those figures were chopped down behind closed doors bears almost no relationship to physical realities.
Sausages are tasty!