Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NCSL Day 2

Among many interesting things at the National Council of State Legislatures is the Exhibit Hall. Exhibitors from AAA to the Youth Support Concussion Coalition fill the giant hall touting organizations, causes, and products to state legislators.

Some exhibits cause a smile such as American Association for Nude Recreation. Some exhibits cause a frown such as the John Birch Society. Some have clever giveaways such as the all too real looking plastic cockroaches by Terminix. Taser International Inc. was in the hall as well, only they were not giving out samples, and neither was the National Rifle Association.

There are wonderful research resources offered by a few exhibitors. For example, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis was showing off their website which offers factual information about the American economy. The Bureau has resisted the winds of ideology in Washington by being staffed by merit employees untouchable by vindictive politicians.

The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy was present with a truthful and mature approach to taxation. On the other hand, there were probably 7 or 8 groups present who had an assortment of snake oil approaches in lieu of taxation.

Thank heavens for the National Education Association and their great booth, staffed with professionals. Their advocacy found companionship with exhibitors such as Service Employees International Union, American Federation of Teachers, and American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees.

Tomorrow, NCSL delegates will hear from Texas governor, and presidential hopeful, Rick Perry. A legislator from Waco, Texas complete with white cowboy hat and bollo tie told me how pleased I was going to be when I heard a "good Christian man" like Rick Perry. Oh, the temptation to go into an old SNL skit and say, "Rick Perry is not good, Christian, or a man: Discuss among yourselves".

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