Pork or Proper?

Friday, March 13, 2009

There is an argument in support of earmarks that applauds congress members for specifying how federal money will be spent and utilizing congress’ constitution-supported “power of the purse.” The alternative being that congress is simply handing money over to bureaucracy of the executive administration like a blank check. Okay not a blank check but a check that is only partially filled in with a payee and an amount with nothing in the “memo” line.

H.R. 1105 was signed by President Obama on 11 March 2009 and included over nine thousand earmarks totaling 1.8% of total funding or $7.7 billion. (These are the checks with “memo” lines)

H.R. 1105 passed with the sum of $410 billion, leaving a $402.3 billion dollar “blank check” for the administration.

It would seem that for this argument to be sane, that congress should use its “power of the purse” to a much greater extent than 1.8% of its constitutionally-appointed duty.

Now bogging congress down to earmark every penny is unreasonable but this argument about congress performing its duties falls apart pretty quick when it only does it two percent of the time.

H.R. 1105 contained $7.7 billion of pork. ($7,700,000,000)

Earmarks are pork. This is pork.


John McCain responsibly wags finger at H.R. 1105

Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Sen. John McCain beginning at 20:20.

Despite my recent voting practices I am VERY pleased to see John McCain leading the debate on H.R. 1105, Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, and calling out both parties for sticking thousands of earmarks into appropriations legistalion for the rest of this federal fiscal year.

Anybody with any sense knows that earmark appropriations are wasteful. I'm happy that it is John McCain's priveledge to "cast the first stone" so to speak on this spending.

I'm also thinking back to the election debates and wondering if I ever noticed John McCain get this intense before. He really seems in his element during this entire clip. I can honestly say that Senator McCain has impressed me in a way that I hadn't been before.

Two of my favorite highlights (both from the 26th minute):

“So, I guess we’re doing last year’s business. Does that mean that last year’s president will sign this pork-barrel bill?”

If this pork gets approved in the Senate I hope this appropriations bill gets turned right back around at the White House. We shall see.

“I want to freely acknowledge that Republicans were guilty of this as well.” 

I think this last quote speaks to McCain's integrity. I can see House Republicans ducking beneath this shotgun blast statement.

Thank you John McCain.