We all should have known that a piece of legislation would never get through both houses of Congress without someone in the back pocket of a special interest group or two trying to add to what was already a somewhat decent bill.

Senator Max Baucus, D-Montana, has introduced a “revised” economic stimulus package, which would REDUCE the amount that actual tax-payers receive in order to provide handouts to those who don’t pay any taxes. Who, you ask?

Seniors living on Social Security. Well, bless their little hearts…don’t they deserve to be a part of the economic stimulus package, too? I suppose if the AARP (one of Washington’s more powerful lobbying organizations) says so.

Here’s the thing – this E.S.P. is being sold to the American public as a tax rebate. You pay taxes, we’re giving you some money back. Unfortunately, it’s not just tax payers who are getting the cash. Democrats had already managed to work handouts for those who don’t pay income taxes (those below the poverty level), and now Baucus wants to give money to those on Social Security. Aren’t we already giving them money?

The kicker is that Baucus’ plan reduces the amount of the rebate to actual taxpayers from $600 per individual and $1200 per couple to $500 per individual and $1000 per couple in order to pay for non-taxpayers’ handouts. So, those of us who are paying taxes get less so that those who aren’t paying taxes can get more. Brilliant.

Senator Harry Reid says that the Senate may try to add further to the bill by “extending unemployment benefits, boosting home heating subsidies, raising food stamp benefits and approving money for public works projects” (cnn.com).

The “do nothing Congress” certainly lives up to it’s name, don’t you think? What should have been an easy bill to get passed, something with widespread support from the public and government officials alike, despite minor disagreements, will no-doubt be derailed by those seeking to line their own pockets with the likes of special interest support.