Video: ‘Don’t Call It Pork’ — Willie Brown Defends Handouts in Fiscal Cliff Deal

You may have heard that the deal avoiding the “fiscal cliff” national budget crisis included some tax breaks for some rather narrow constituencies. Such as Puerto Rican and Virgin Island rum makers. And NASCAR track owners. And movie producers.

Some critics have derided these giveaways as “pork barrel” legislation, a kind of cynical deal making that lards U.S. laws with unnecessary costs. But at least one savvy politico doesn’t see it that way.

On the CBS program “Eyewitness News This Morning” Willie Brown, who once virtually ran California from his position as speaker of the state Assembly, defended these special provisions in a spirited exchange with San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phil Matier and Joe Garofoli.

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