The New York Times points out the craftiness of our legislators in Earmark Lives, but Dares Not Speak Its Name
…But Republicans, who dispensed earmarks with relish until they lost control of the committee last November, are accusing the Democrats of larding up the bill to win membersâ€™ support.
â€œWelcome Kmart shoppers,â€? said Representative Harold Rogers, Republican of Kentucky. â€œThis is the shopping mart for those who are nervous about supporting the precipitous withdrawal of troops. This is an effort to buy votes. Whether you are a spinach farmer or salmon farmer, thereâ€™s something in here for you.â€?
Among other changes to the presidentâ€™s initial request for $103 billion, the committee tacked on $3 billion in relief measures for the Gulf Coast, $3.7 billion in agricultural assistance, $500 million to fight wildfires and $60 million for Pacific Coast fisheries.
…It was impossible to know who proposed most of the measures.
I believe that some earmarks are appropriate for the overall well being of citizens and the economy. But they should be discussed in open deliberation as part of the overall priorities of our tax dollars. Using these funds merely to buy votes is disrespectful of us taxpapers and is inefficient fiscal management.
I would support some formula to distribute money in some fair proportion to the population in a Congressperson’s district to the extent that those funds are a prudent investment in our wellbeing and competitiveness.
One reason I tend not to identify only with one party is that power is corrupting; and while the new boss may pander to the reformers who helped them gain power it is only a matter of time that special interests will press for their share of the booty.
I hope that the GOP evolves into a credible force for the efficient management of government operations and more competitive, publicly financed, elections increasingly free of special interest influence. If for no other reason than becoming and promoting a viable alternative to the inevitable decline of those in power.
Perhaps the new moderate Republican Leadership Council can lead this evolution.
Born 1950, Married, Living in Austin Texas, Semi
Retired Small Business owner and investor. My political interest
evolved out of his business experience that the best decisions come out of an objective gathering of information and a pragmatic consideration of costs and benefits. I am interested in promoting Centrist candidates and Policies. My posts are mostly about people and policies that I believe are part of the solution rather the problem.