Sunday, July 23, 2006

What does the $5,500 Sweeney got cost us?

Sweeney's pro-business and pro-campaign donor agenda will cost us taxpayers again if his newest bill goes into law.

John Sweeney (R-NY) announced that via the bill he introduced that:

"We provide safety without providing extra costs to boaters or manufactures" (Sweeney quoted here)

Guess who is footing the bill instead of the boat industry? We, the taxpayers.

Sweeney has taken in $5,500 in campaign donations from the National Marine Manufacturer's PAC and then he writes legislation that could permit them to deduct up to two times the cost of buying boating safety equipment. To quote the bill "twice of the boat manufacturer's basis or cost of such qualified boating safety equipment" could be deducted.

Sweeney's bill currently has no co-sponsors in the house. Needless to say, the boat manufacturer PAC "urges Congress to pass the bill by the end of the 109th Congress"

Why do the tax payers have to foot the bill for big business to do what is right? Why not support a bill that mandates this equipment in boats to ensure our safety?

Of course, Sweeney's taking $5,500 from a special interest group and then writing legislation that they want passed this session doesn't make Sweeney like any of these guys:

...Randy “Duke” Cunningham, former US Congressman and Chair of the US House Intelligence Subcommittee, is serving an 8.4 year sentence in federal prison for fraud and taking bribes. Jerry Lewis, the Chair of the US House Appropriation Committee, is under investigation by the FBI. Porter Goss, former US Congressman and CIA Director is also the subject of an FBI investigation. In May 2006, Reuters reported that the FBI was investigating allegations that four star USAF Generals Michael Moseley and John Jumper helped to steer a Thunderbird contract (the USAF equivalent of the US Navy's Blue Angels stunt flying team) to a friend, retired USAF General Hal Hornburg, who once commanded the Thunderbirds...(source)

Of course not!

Sweeney cites the recent death of 20 boaters on a Lake George boat tour when he talks up this bill. His industry pals say:

“We believe the single biggest problem is people aren’t wearing life jackets when they get in the boat,” said Monita Fontaine, vice president of governmental relations for the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Errr....this may be a stupid question, but how does this bill get people to wear the equipment that they don't wear now?
The idea, Sweeney said, is to get life vests into the boats in the hopes that they will be used by passengers.

The Ethan Allen had 47 passengers and one crew member aboard when it sank on Oct. 2, 2005. Life vests were aboard, but the passengers, many of whom were elderly and limited in their mobility, were not wearing them. (TU story)

Maybe Sweeney's next bill will suggest that laws requiring people to wear seat belts be replaced with laws giving automakers tax credits for installing seatbelts in our cars.

I suppose the so-called-liberal media will never ask Sweeney how much this bill will cost the taxpayers if passed. Or why he doesn't support requiring that the boat industry pay for these saftey improvements with their own monies. Or why he proposes this industry supported bill instead of a bill requiring that boaters wear life vests. Wouldn't that be more effective?

That could have saved the lives of those 20 boaters and would cost the taxpayers nothing. None of the stories I found in the press pointed out Sweeney's campaign donations from this industry.

Related: Our Earlier Post on this: Sweeney Sells Out (again)

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