Government By Gimmick

Congress cannot pay for its drug bill -- or anything else

From the streets and schoolyards of the nation's cities, the drug crisis came to roost on Capitol Hill last week. Though more than half a dozen measures awaited action before Congress's October recess, none were more important in the Senate than the hurriedly drafted anti-drug bill. When public opinion polls showed rising concern over drugs, both Senate and House members wanted to pass new laws that would sweep "crack" off the streets and help the legislators keep their seats in November. "This is war," said House Republican Whip Trent Lott, using the preferred metaphor. But war is expensive, and as much...

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