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Santorum’s corruption problem

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Don't just think of Santorum as a frothy anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-sex religious bigot (link). A major reason he failed to be re-elected was his corruption problem.

There was the $500,000 loan he got from a private bank that did not lend to members of the public. And then there was the multi-billion dollar handout to some of his friends that he slipped into the Katrina disaster relief bill.

Buried in the huge budget-reconciliation bill, on which House and Senate conferees are putting the final touches right now, are a few paragraphs that accomplish an extraordinary feat. They roll back the price of a barrel of crude oil to what it sold for two years ago. They create this pretend price for the benefit of a small group of the politically well connected. You still won't be able to buy gasoline for $1.73 per gal. as you did then, instead of today's $2.28. You still won't be able to buy home heating oil for $1.60 per gal., in place of today's $2.39. But a select group of investors and companies will walk away with billions of dollars in tax subsidies, not from oil but from the marketing of a dubious concoction of synthetic fuel produced from coal and dependent on government tax credits tied to the price of oil.

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