I wonder how many earmarks, tax exemptions and other pork barrel items were included in the bill passed by the House on Friday.

I know that there was a tax credit for production of wind energy, and I read it in this morning's Times in a brief article by Robert Pear.  It helped Representative Michael C. Burgess of Texas vote for the bill. "We are the No. 1 wind-producing state," he said. But the new pork included a tax exemption for wooden practice arrows used by children.  The price of democracy.

Pear also pointed out that the alternative minimum tax will henceforth not be levied on middle-income taxpayers.  And that states sales taxes will now be federally deductible.

Like all other finance packages coming out of Congress this one, too, was a Christmas tress. One month before election.