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View Full Version : Curbing earmarks.. What is Obama going to do?



S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 10:10 AM
I know he had some taken out but I think that he has to be careful of dem opposition to anything he does.
Of course was it not a campaign promise?

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 10:15 AM
There is plenty of GOP opposition to curbing earmarks as well. Earmarks do not increase the amount of money spent. The money has already been legislated to be spent. Earmarks only direct some of the money into specific areas the various Congressional critters want to see it go.

Eliminate earmarks and the Whitehouse has complete control over how the money is spent. Mitch McConnell, for one, doesn't like that idea at all.

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 10:22 AM
http://www.zimbio.com/politics/articles/1mzD1FylNXj/House+Senate+Dems+lead+earmark+parade

Not necessarily true. Overwhelmingly Dems....

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 10:32 AM
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My point is that those who believe earmarks increase Federal spending are mistaken. I would guess that is the vast majority of the American public.

Once one accepts the fact that earmarks enter the picture only after budgets are legislated, it becomes fair to ask "what is wrong with earmarks?"
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S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 10:34 AM
My point is that those who believe earmarks increase Federal spending are mistaken.


I tend to agree with you but I this appears to be a Dem fallacy not a republican. You stated that there were a lot of Reps who do support earmarks. I responded with a link.

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 10:36 AM
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And what is wrong with earmarks?

Earmarks direct Federal spending to particular projects (a McConnell (R-KY) earmark for Federal funding a new bridge over the Ohio River from Kentucky to Indiana, for example) that might otherwise be spent elsewhere if all the particular spending decisions were made by the Obama Administration. My Senator might... just might... have a better idea of where Federal highway funds could be best spent in Kentucky than the beaurocrats.

You need to re-examine your assumptions.
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S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 10:36 AM
Pet projects...Very little control, not approved per se....except when attached to an existing bill pending..A road to no where? Projects that only benefit a certain district and not the country as a whole. Political clout.

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 10:46 AM
Pet projects...Very little control, not approved per se....except when attached to an existing bill pending..A road to no where? Projects that only benefit a certain district and not the country as a whole. Political clout.

Government at work.

So I must presume you prefer that Federal bureaucrats make all the decisions about where the money is spent rather than your elected Congressmen and Senators?

You have swallowed the wing-nut propaganda whole.
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S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 10:49 AM
Norman that is funny and sad.....Here is the list of his earmarks. I have no excuse for it and I bet he doesn't either.

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/earmarks.php?cid=N00004572&cycle=2010..

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 10:55 AM
What happens if the politicians just say "NO".. Good bye lobbyists.

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 10:57 AM
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You don't like Senator Thune's list? Why not?

"Pork" is entirely in the eye of the beholder. An Iowan may consider money earmarked by a Hawaiian Senator for tsunami research to be "pork." A Washingtonian may consider money earmarked by an Iowan Senator for biotech corn research to be "pork." A Texan might consider a Washington Senator's earmark for volcano research as "pork."

Do you seriously believe that the Congress debating each of these, and thousands of other earmarks, individually is A WORKABLE IDEA? Of course it is not. There are not enough hours in the day.

A better solution: if you believe your elected representatives are abusing the system... work to toss them out.

The word "work" is the key, of course. Which is why it is easier to simply complain to one's friends and on the internet.

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 11:02 AM
Government at work.

So I must presume you prefer that Federal bureaucrats make all the decisions about where the money is spent rather than your elected Congressmen and Senators?

You have swallowed the wing-nut propaganda whole.
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By 2050 the government probably will be doing just that.

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 11:03 AM
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So we agree that earmarks serve a useful purpose?
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S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 11:04 AM
No pork is in the eye of the politican.It's how he continues to win votes.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/04/eveningnews/main3676573.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_3676573

From a long time leader of the Senate.

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 11:06 AM
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You don't like Senator Thune's list? Why not?

"Pork" is entirely in the eye of the beholder. An Iowan may consider money earmarked by a Hawaiian Senator for tsunami research to be "pork." A Washingtonian may consider money earmarked by an Iowan Senator for biotech corn research to be "pork." A Texan might consider a Washington Senator's earmark for volcano research as "pork."

Do you seriously believe that the Congress debating each of these, and thousands of other earmarks, individually is A WORKABLE IDEA? Of course it is not. There are not enough hours in the day.

A better solution: if you believe your elected representatives are abusing the system... work to toss them out.

The word "work" is the key, of course. Which is why it is easier to simply complain to one's friends and on the internet.

Obama had a plan in his campaign to curb earmarks.. So he must have a plan

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 11:09 AM
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So we agree that earmarks serve a useful purpose?
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Yup the proposed bridge to nowhere would have been a good one to take. Well paved,not much traffic.

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 11:09 AM
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A Senator's constituents are happy with his performance for them? SHOCKING!

LOL!

It's always the other State's Senator and the other State's Congresswoman and the other Party that are abusing the system!

Given how awful our Government functions I wonder why anyone stays in the U.S.A. or continues to call it the greatest nation on Earth?

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 11:12 AM
Yup the proposed bridge to nowhere would have been a good one to take. Well paved,not much traffic.

You are referring to Senator Ted Stevens' (R-AK) pet project that Governor Sarah Palin supported before Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin denounced it?

LOL!

As I said, Jamie, if you believe your elected Representatives are abusing the system, work to unseat them. You are truly not powerless.

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 11:12 AM
Of course they are... For them it is money coming out of the Federal pocket and not theirs. Yup they love it. And the pols love not having to spend their money and yet get the benefits. If it was their own money would they have earmarks?

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 11:14 AM
You had better believe that my mother earmarked a portion of the paycheck that my father earned!

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 11:16 AM
You had better believe that my mother earmarked a portion of the paycheck that my father earned!

Well my mother doesn't live in Iowa

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 11:20 AM
You want to toss the baby out with the bathwater.

Everyone agrees there is lots of waste in the military budget. Should we simply dismantle the armed forces? That would certainly end the problem of waste.

Cuyahoga Chuck
12-16-2010, 11:28 AM
Sen. John Cornyn ( R. Texas) backed by Sen John Kyl (R. of Arizona) had a news conference to blast those godaweful earmarks. A reporter for ABC TV (I think) asked Sen. Cornyn why he submitted earmarks in current legislation if he felt so strongly it was improper. Cornyn danced around the query so the reporter rephrased and asked again, Cornyn danced even faster but to the same tune and the ABC guy asked again. Cornyn said he had answered and the news conference came to an abrupt end. The ABC guy had a big grin because he knew his video was guaranteed to be broadcast that night.
It may have made Youtube. I haven't looked.

Nicholas Scheuer
12-16-2010, 11:34 AM
Why not simply let the Tea Party whakos take care of earmarks? Quickest lesson there is about how folks who do't bring home the bacon don't get reelected.

Moby Nick

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 11:35 AM
No but if the army/military has opposed the building of such and such a weapon because it was not necessary, it should be taken out of the earmarks

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 12:17 PM
And for your edification, My thread states " curbing " not eliminating earmarks. But you all went right past that thread.

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2010, 12:44 PM
You may find this interesting. The highlights are mine:


Rift between McConnell, Paul over earmarks reflects debate within GOP

By James Rosen and Halimah Abdullah - McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Jim DeMint are headed for a showdown vote next week on earmarks. The vote will be the first post-election test of Tea Party lawmakers’ ability to deliver on their hard-line campaign pledges.

The issue is already splitting Republicans.

DeMint, a South Carolina Republican elected to his second term last week, said he will force an internal vote among incoming GOP senators Tuesday on freezing all requests for spending earmarks, which legislators seek to pay for pet projects in their home states.

DeMint sent a letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, saying he will propose an internal policy change banning earmarked spending requests when incoming GOP senators meet Tuesday to elect their leaders and craft party rules.

The letter was signed by eight incumbent senators and by the five incoming senators, including Sen.-elect Rand Paul of Bowling Green, who won election last week with backing from DeMint and strong support from Tea Party activists. The language in the proposed resolution is identical to an earmark moratorium adopted last year by House Republicans.

Paul has said he will not submit earmark requests and will make working to end all earmarks a priority.

Paul’s position puts him at odds with McConnell, Kentucky’s senior senator.

As McConnell outlined a nuanced position on earmarks on the Sunday talk shows, Paul doubled down on his support for an earmark moratorium and renewed his pledge not to use them to funnel money to Kentucky projects.

“I do tell people within Kentucky I say, ‘Look, I will argue within the committee process for things that are good for Kentucky that they want, and also within the context of a balanced budget,’” Paul said.

DeMint’s rock-ribbed opposition to government spending has earned him a national following among conservative activists, who helped him raise more than $5 million to contribute to like-minded Senate candidates.

It has not made him many friends in his own caucus.

McConnell and DeMint have repeatedly butted heads as DeMint has forced senators to take difficult votes on spending measures and controversial policy matters. DeMint helped turn earmarks into a national political issue in December 2006 when he blocked an appropriations bill for weeks until Senate leaders removed 10,000 earmarks for local projects totaling $17 billion.

“Republicans in the House and Senate have an opportunity to stand against the earmark favor factory next week and unite to fight for an end to pork barrel spending for the entire Congress,” Wesley Denton, DeMint’s spokesman, said Wednesday. “This is an important issue for voters in the last election, and we’re hopeful it will pass.”

McConnell responded coolly to DeMint’s proposal.

“The problem is, it doesn’t save any money,” McConnell told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday. “What we really need to do is to concentrate on reducing spending and reducing debt. And this (earmark) debate doesn’t save any money, which is why it is kind of exasperating to some of us who really want to cut spending.”

McConnell said a Republican-only earmark ban would give Democratic senators broader latitude to channel money to pet projects.

McConnell said he is willing to consider a ban on earmarking as long as it applies to both parties.

McConnell also noted the Obama administration’s support of DeMint’s call for an earmark moratorium, through presidential earmarks, a move the Kentucky lawmaker said was “not surprising not surprising because every president would like for us to appropriate all the money and send it to them and let them spend it any way they want to.”

“We ought to also deal with executive branch earmarks. The stimulus bill that passed last year, the almost a trillion-dollar stimulus bill, was riddled with executive branch earmarks,” McConnell said.

McConnell voted for a failed DeMint amendment in March that would have imposed a one-year moratorium on earmarks. That measure, however, would have prohibited the local spending requests from all senators, while the DeMint rule to be voted on Tuesday would freeze earmarks from Republican senators only.

Among the eight incumbent senators who had signed onto the Senate Republican earmark freeze by Wednesday evening, only two have requested no such targeted funds since 2008 — DeMint and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

The other ban backers have sought varying amounts of earmarks: Richard Burr of North Carolina, $32.3 million; Jeff Sessions of Alabama, $24.2 million; John Cornyn of Texas, $21.9 million; Mike Enzi of Wyoming, $21.8 million; John Ensign of Nevada, $12.4 million; and Bob Corker of Tennessee, $10.3 million, according to the Web site LegiStorm.

The Bluegrass State has benefited heavily from earmarking by well-placed lawmakers.

Between 2008 and 2010, McConnell made $927 million in solo earmark requests, including thousands to help address issues related to the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile at the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond.

This fiscal year alone, Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset, one of the Republicans in line to lead the powerful House Appropriations committee, sponsored or co-sponsored 50 earmarks totaling $93.4 million, ranking 10th out of the 435 representatives, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan research group that tracks money in politics.

Tuesday’s GOP Senate caucus vote will immediately thrust newly minted and Tea Party backed senators into the middle of a caucus debate. Paul, fresh from his win in the tough Kentucky contest, will go from freshman orientation into the closed door vote with veteran GOP lawmakers.

“I will not earmark anything, and I will not support earmarks,” Paul told CNN on Wednesday. “I have signed a pledge, I have signed (a) word of honor that I will not do that. … I am not in favor of earmarks and will not earmark any legislation.”

http://bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com/2010/11/10/rift-between-mcconnell-paul-over-earmarks-reflects-debate-within-gop/

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 12:54 PM
Both sides are in the pool but there are abuses. You mentioned a few. For a 3 plus billion omnibus package, there has to be waste. Still question as posted originally can earmarked be curbed and how? If you don't care well so be it.

ccmanuals
12-16-2010, 12:55 PM
The problem with earmarks is that the money is not always spent properly, i.e. instead of giving x amount of dollars to the Corps to fix the most critical infrastructure projects (and they know what are the critical areas) i.e. bridges, waterways, levees (ring a bell?) it is earmarked towards something not as critical for the general public like dredging a canal so some folks can easily get their yachts out of their slips behind their house. This is just one anecdotal example.

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2010, 01:13 PM
That is in essence the issue I'm addressing..

Of course we have a new term to get around the issue of earmarks. Called soft earmarks...

avoid the major issue very nicely..

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/07/world/americas/07iht-pork.4.11741464.html

Where there is a will there is a way.