Thursday, February 09, 2006

Congress and earmarking...the "currency of corruption"

The NY Times has a must-read article from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) today called "Earmarked Men":
"Back on the F-Bar Ranch, when I was too young to load the chute, de-horn, vaccinate, hold a hot iron or otherwise make myself useful as my father and older brothers branded calves, I would spend my time collecting "earmarks" - V-shaped pieces of a calf's left ear detached with two swift strokes of a pocketknife. I would stack these earmarks on the fence surrounding the corral as an unofficial tally of our progress.

Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Here I am in Congress, again being asked to collect earmarks. Sorry. I've had enough of that...

...Solving the earmark problem will require transparency - a requirement that earmarks be included in the actual text of legislation (where they can be seen and challenged) rather than hidden in committee and conference reports. I've introduced such legislation in the House and my Arizona Republican colleague John McCain has introduced companion legislation in the Senate. Debate on these measures should begin as soon as possible.

During my last few years on the F-Bar we stopped earmarking our calves altogether. We concluded that a brand on the left side was sufficient, and that the earmark simply marred an otherwise healthy critter. Here's hoping we reach the same conclusion in Congress."
Jeff Flake is right. It's hard to understand that there would be an argument in favor of the status-quo. This has to stop.


$1,401M...cut it out!!!

Michelle Malkin has totalled up "the government junkets you fund".
"Blowhards in both parties in Washington have pledged to reduce spending and reform business as usual. Yet, Sen. Coburn's attempt to limit conference spending by just one agency -- HUD -- was anonymously stripped from an appropriations bill behind closed doors and unceremoniously killed.

Who did it? Let's have some transparency. Step forward and tell us why."
Right on Michelle!


Dick Morris encourages politicians to take the Lieberman Pledge.
...So while legislators are considering pledges, they might want to follow the example of newly elected House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has refused to earmark appropriations bills. Voters are coming to understand that these special amendments are increasingly responsible for runaway federal spending, and they are no longer willing to reward it or even to tolerate it...

...This scandal is not going away, nor will it be without electoral consequence. The response must come form the Republican leaders in the House and Senate. They must make sure that reforms keep pace with the exposures as the scandal deepens.

But no legislative action can replace the actions of individual legislators in taking the Lieberman Pledge. Take it before it gets too late.
Joe Lieberman has been right a lot recently.


Here's the Top 10 Examples of Government Waste (click for detail) from the Heritage Foundataion.
1. The Missing $25 Billion

2. Unused Flight Tickets Totaling $100 Million

3. Embezzled Funds at the Department of Agriculture

4. Credit Card Abuse at the Department of Defense

5. Medicare Overspending

6. Funding Fictitious Colleges and Students

7. Manipulating Data to Encourage Spending

8. State Abuse of Medicaid Funding Formulas

9. Earned Income Tax Credit Overpayments

10. Redundancy Piled on Redundancy

Conclusion: Lawmakers have an opportunity to take a strong stand for efficient government and spending restraint. Reforming wasteful programs will build essential momentum for the larger reforms that are needed to bring the budget under control.

Labels: , , ,

Subscribe to CBT

Enter an e-mail address for daily updates: