In 1787, anything that smacked of “king” was unacceptable, so Congress does the actual governing with the two-house Congress. Why two houses? Everything was about equality of station. It was put forth that each state should have equal representation… two senators. It was a good idea, but some thought there was a better way. “Some states have a larger population, and should have more representatives… equal representation per capita!” they claimed. So the founding fathers decided we should have both!
If any elected official rejected money from special interests, we’d know they were in it to serve. The defect is Pork Barrel. In the interest of clarity and brevity, let’s just call it bribery. It is big money “buying” government influence. Just one example: according to the Open Secrets website, Senator Richard Burr has accepted payments of at least $426,000 from oil and gas companies alone. If you jump with this link, you will see the unbelievable millions of dollars this one person has accepted. If it was a lady on the street corner, they would put a disgusting name on that activity. Should we be any less disgusted? At the North Carolina level, there is a threat to people and the environment looming, and it is a huge opportunity for Pork Barrel.
There is a proposal to build a toll road (see the map) with tolls to repay bonds. This is a rape of the environment and a perfect vehicle for depositing Charlotte’s criminal element into an otherwise quiet community. From its starting point, the Garden Parkway and the current means of arriving at the same place form a rectangle. Sides A and B are I-485 north and I-85 south[west], which, together, equal sides C and D, the Garden Parkway swath. Would you pay money to drive the same distance and arrive at the same point with billions to be spent, ecology to be ravaged, and local inhabitants to be grossly inconvenienced. They probably won’t get all the funding, and will have to stop at York Road south of Gastonia. Imagine all that traffic then having to find its way to I-85 through the backwoods. Special interests can easily overpower the voices of locals who do not want this monstrosity.
Pork Barreling should be outlawed, but those who would have to legislate that change stand too much to lose. As one disgruntled taxpayer put it, “What do you have if you have 50 congressmen at the bottom of the sea? A good start!”