Sunday, November 22, 2009

Regarding the Democrats 'bribing' Senators to support Obamacare...

Pre-bribe, there are two positions a Senator can have: the legislation is good or it is bad. The question is whether the 'bribe' is sufficient to take a bad bill and turn it into a good bill.

I doubt that $300 million in 'bribes' is sufficient to turn a bad bill into a good bill for the people of Louisiana... thus, Landrieu accepting - and bragging about accepting - a 'bribe' of that size to vote for the bill still screws Louisiana residents, albeit $400 million less screwed than would have been the case. (Yes, technically the vote was only to start debate on the bill, but as the 'bribe' is only paid if the bill passes, so I look at Landrieu as having committed to voting for the bill itself).

Now if Landrieu had concluded the bill was good, then she has enhanced a good bill to the tune of $300 million, a definite home run for her state. But given that she claimed to be undecided up to the last minute, it would be hard to argue that she had all along intended to vote for the bill.

There is one twist: the bill is bad but Landrieu figured it would pass anyway so this was her way of getting something out of it for Louisiana. Unfortunately for this argument, her vote would have kept the bill from being passed so it's hard for her to argue that bill supporters had more than enough votes. And the fact that they had to offer up a $300 million 'bribe' is proof they didn't have the vote: why give away money if they didn't need to?

Hopefully, Louisiana residents will see past her focus on the $300 million she 'found' for the state to the overall negatives that this bill has for them.