Monday, November 08, 2010

About those earmarks…

Shall we?

A fascinating debate over earmarks is shaking out among the would-be leadership within the soon-to-be Congress.

Earmarks are those nifty little items in legislation that direct funds to specific projects or organizations.  Bridges or research projects or catfish farms…you name it and there’s probably been an earmark directing funds to it in recent legislation.

Tea Party electeds want to ban earmarks.  It’s debatable whether they feel that earmarks drive up the cost of legislation, but those elected through the power of tea are anti-earmark and have been uncharacteristically clear about wanting to do away with the political payback pork steaks that clog legislative arteries.

The GOP has a history of adoring earmarks.  When last in power, they feasted on pork steaks 24/7 and they’ve indicated that they’d like to get back to that on January 4th.  Senator McConnell has said that banning earmarks will not impact spending…and that the earmark situation is complicated. Translation – he’s not down with banning earmarks and is brushing up on his two-step in anticipation of dancing around the call to do so.

The battle lines have been drawn.

The GOP, with Tea Party electeds among them, take control of the House on January 4th.

And the House will begin crafting legislation that will demonstrate exactly how committed members are to kicking the Congressional earmark habit.

This bitch anticipates that this will be the first of many tests of Tea Party influence within the GOP…to earmark or not to earmark, that is the question.



JoyMama said...

Earmarks account for something like 1% of the federal budget.

Wonder how many tea-party types actually realize the true dimensions of what they're gnashing their teeth over here?

the bewilderness said...

It is the traditional straining at gnats swallowing camels routine that directs the corporate medias attention to the proper conflict of the day.
Possibly the most famous earmark mockery was dubbed "the bridge to nowhere". The corporate media loved it.
They went on and on about how few people lived on the island and never once mentioned that the airport was located on the island and that a bridge would be an improvement over a ferry what with the weather in Alaska and all.

Earmarks are frequently used by powerful lawmakers to fill their own pockets. Former Speaker Hastert made a big pot of money by buying land and then earmarking a highway to service it. Alaska Senator Stevens earmarked a road for a Florida supporter.
It is their job to keep each other honest with regard to such things and clearly they prefer to trade favors instead.
These are the kinds of conflicts that the corporate media finds fascinating, rather than the billions we are spending to kill people in the countries we have invaded or are about to invade.

the bewilderness said...

Sorry, I misread your comment, JoyMama.
I doubt the tea party peeps are aware of much beyond the propaganda they have received from their sponsors.

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