I am so sick of the congressional distraction about earmarks. Eliminate all of
them and you don't even scratch the total of government spending. Taking chunks
out of our largest expenditures and working our way down is true reform and the
only way to regain control of the budget. Sadly, our largest expenditures are
the sacred cows: Social Security, Medicare/Medicade/Welfare, and defense. You
could wipe out EVERYTHING else the goverment spends taxes on and these three
areas will still spend us into oblivion. Just once, I'd like to see enough
statesmen elected that they will tackle the huge, obvious elephant crowding the
room. But even the crisis of the financial meltdown and the Great Recession
didn't push our elected leaders in the right direction.
Whether or not something is pork depends on which side of it you are on - people
in Florida think earthquake and volcano monitoring are pork and people in
California and Alaska think exploring the wetlands is pork.
I'd like to see earmarks go away too. Spending should go throught the
appropriations process. I say this even thoug eliminating earmarks will make
virtually no difference in federal spending or debt, as they constitute about
1/2 of 1% of the budget.
Just becasue it is small is no reason not to tackle it. If we only did that we
would focus on defense & Social Security/Medicare. Compared to those the
rest of the budget is pretty paltry. Everthing couts.
As "Kass" above points out, earmarks mostly serve to provide an
infusion of dollars that states might otherwise have to come up with themselves.
THAT is the best reason why earmarks should go away. If states need something,
they should pay for it themselves. By doing that, the states will probably be a
little more frugal with whatever the project is, and have more of an
"ownership" interest, rather than just another handout from the feds.
With a Politician in Every Pot still very interested in money, greed,
corruption, above the law, (ignore us common people unless they need your
votes), career politician's who will take money from any special interest and
say or do anything to keep his hold on power. It's secret government by the
insiders, for the insiders only today. That's for BIG BUSINESS "ONLY"
and their deep pocket's. Newly elected representatives may come to Washington
with high ideals and lofty principles. Then they're confronted with a big pool
of money that's there for the taking. If they don't claim it, someone else
will. The meek don't inherit anything. After elected, they put blinder's on
us, to cover up their corruption, while we rot and suffer. That's not real
politics folks. If those "Earmarks" would freeze, the next Deseret
News editorial would "squawks about" some sob story about Utah,
services there, less infrastructures, no monies to buy more parks, build more
mall's and building's, education will fail, law enforcement would quit, and
there would be no free monies to give to the illegals that live there. Everyone
counts, except Politicians.
My appreciation to Mike Lee, who sent a letter to the Republican leadership
calling for a roll-call vote on earmarks. I believe a private vote would have
had a different result. Mitch McConnell, who always brags to his home state
about bringing home the bacon, changed his tune and supported the earmark
ban.Keep the heat on 'em!Earmarks are largely symbolic,
but a billion here and there, and pretty soon you're talking about big money.I do think that loading up an ugly spending bill with earmarks can have
the effect of making it palatable to enough Congressman to allow it to pass.
Let's get rid of that perverse incentive.
I think theres a widespread misunderstanding about earmarks. Earmarks do NOT
add to federal spending they merely DIRECT money that is already appropriated.
For example, suppose a bill appropriates $3 billion for national park upgrades.
Then suppose a legislator adds an earmark that $7 million (of that $3 billion)
be used to improve the trails of a national park in his state.In
doing so, he has not increased any federal spending he has merely added some
specifics about how part of that money will be used. Yes, earmarks are
sometimes abused. But sometimes theyre a GOOD thing, especially considering
that Congress not the executive branch has the power to appropriate. If
earmarks are eliminated, this merely gives more power to the president and
federal bureaucrats to decide more specifically how to spend the money.Who knows the mixed motives for supporting or opposing the ban? Some
Republicans may reluctantly support it because the widespread misunderstanding
makes opposition politically risky. Some Democrats may support it because they
want to give the president more spending power. Much as I disagree with Harry
Reid, I think hes right on this issue.
RE: PeanutGallery - 3:42 p.m. Nov. 19, 2010 Salt Lake City, UT, "I
think theres a widespread misunderstanding about earmarks. Earmarks do NOT add
to federal spending they merely DIRECT money that is already appropriated. For
example, suppose a bill appropriates $3 billion for national park upgrades. Then
suppose a legislator adds an earmark that $7 million (of that $3 billion) be
used to improve the trails of a national park in his state."Reply: That's somewhat true. Bot still Newly elected representatives may come
to Washington with high ideals and lofty principles. Then they're confronted
with a big pool of money that's there for the taking. If they don't claim it,
someone else will. The meek don't inherit anything. After elected, they put
blinder's on us, to cover up their corruption, while we rot and suffer. Most all
a Congressman's Family are a high paid lobbiest, the wife say can't lobby her
husband, but can lobby the whole Committee he is on, he passes that law, the
company and lobbiests give staffers quarterly bounes and kick backs to the
Congressman, so earmarks get into Bill's, for the Company?.
Apparently the Deseret News web sites software threw away all my dashes and
apostrophes. Sorry my 3:42 post looks so haphazard and run-on.
Yes, eliminating earmarks will have a very very small affect on the overall
budget.That said, eliminating all earmarks is a symbolic gesture
that may start to change things in Washington.This is a very
positive T Party contribution. Write your congressmen if they don't sign on.Now if we can only get all the big money (lobby money, campaign
contributions) out of our election process, we may really start to get
legislation that benefits the people.
Fitness freakwell said!
Obama talked about reforming the process of earmarks during his campaign for the
Presidency. "We can no longer accept a process that doles out
earmarks based on a member of Congress' seniority, rather than the merit of the
project. We can no longer accept an earmarks process that has become so
complicated to navigate that a municipality or nonprofit group has to hire
high-priced D.C. lobbyists to do it. And we can no longer accept an earmarks
process in which many of the projects being funded fail to address the real
needs of our country." (March 2008) "I have been
consistently in favor of more disclosure around earmarks. Now, keep in mind a
lot of these are worthy projects in our states, and I have actively pursued
projects that I think are important. But I want to make sure that they're not
done in the dark of night, that they're not done in committee, that everybody
stands up and says this is the kind of spending that I think is important."
Earmarks used to be called riders. They are appropriation expenditures included
in legislation because they couldn't pass a review on their own. The process
needs to be revised with strict limits as to how much they can cost before they
must be reviewed as separate expenditures. Also it's a matter of accountability
and influence peddling. The only way our budget will be brought under control is
to set mandatory limits on expenditures and to establish a flat tax rate that
applies to EVERYONE. With close to 60 percent of the middle class not paying ANY
income tax, its no wonder the rest of use work 6 months a year to TRY to support
them. Wouldn't you like to fill out a simple one page tax return each year. A
tax reciept might be your ticket to benefits when you retire also. Maybe even no
taxes after the age of 65.