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January 30, 2008
Pay to play?

I'm all for going green, as I know many of you are, but experience and cynicism tell me that ecological responsibility isn't really what's at the bottom of this.

In the past, the administration gave away about 3,000 free copies of its budget proposal to lawmakers, federal agencies and members of the media. But next week, when Bush submits the last of his eight budget requests to Congress, the White House only plans to post it on the Internet.

Lawmakers may read the budget online without cost. But those accustomed to holding a copy in their hands or distributing multiple copies to their staffs to pore over the details are going to have to dig into their own pockets and hand over some cash.

I'm not sure where to start with my comments on this, except to say that the first thing that comes to mind is that this is one more instance of Bush's adversarial relationship with, well, most of the entire government. I mean, now he thinks they should have to pay to read what he's planning to get up to?

And a tiny, cynical corner of my mind points out that with no paper, there's no paper trail.

Anyhow. It's a stupid plan, worthy of the stupidity of the Bush Administration. A ton of money could be saved in a thousand other areas. It's typical that they chose a purely symbolic gesture that serves to inconvenience and annoy Congress and government agencies and produces almost no actual savings.

(I'd only read the first page of the article when I wrote this entry. I see, as I read further into it, that I'm mostly repeating what others have said.)

Posted by AnneZook at 08:15 AM