Truth is the beginning of wisdom…


Posted by straight shooter on February 24, 2009 under Political

During the 2008 presidential campaign, candidates Barack Obama and John McCain fought vigorously over who would be toughest on congressional earmarks. “We need earmark reform,” Obama said in September during a presidential debate in Oxford, MS. “And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

Then came the un“Stimulus Bill” a spending bill of pork and earmarks with very little stimulus but a lot of pet Democrat projects. Obama didn’t go line by line like he said …virtually nobody did! The vast majority didn’t even read the bill that was scared through Congress.

Now President Barack Obama and Congress prepare to unveil another spending bill on top of this recent 1.3 trillion of taxpayers’ money spent. A $410 billion Omnibus spending bill that’s riddled with thousands of earmarks is on its way, despite Obama’s calls for restraint. I guess he meant restraint for the taxpayers but all-out spending for the government.

This new bill will contain about 9,000 earmarks totaling $5 billion, congressional officials say. Many of the earmarks – loosely defined as local projects inserted by members of Congress – were inserted last year as the spending bills worked their way through various committees.

So while Obama was slamming earmarks on the campaign trail, his House and Senate members have been hypocritically slapping them into spending bills … the “Stimulus” Bill and now the Omnibus Bill … followed by who knows?

“It will be a little embarrassing for the president if he signs a bill with that many earmarks on it,” said Stan Collender, a veteran Washington budget analyst.

I tend to disagree as I really don’t think he cares especially in light of many of the decisions he has already determined.

The public has no chance to challenge questionable spending, but too often powerful interests who know how to work the system get favorite measures inserted.

For instance, Congressional Quarterly reported recently that more than 100 House members got earmarks for clients of the PMA Group, a lobbying firm with close ties to Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) who heads the powerful defense spending subcommittee. The CQ Politics analysis said that in the 2009 defense spending bill, which Congress approved last year, PMA clients got about $300 million.

The CQ study came after reports that the FBI is investigating the possibility of illegal campaign contributions by PMA to Murtha and other lawmakers. A Murtha spokesman said earlier this month that the FBI probe has nothing to do with Murtha. A PMA spokesman declined to comment on the probe.

Earmarks cause a loss of voter confidence in the whole political picture because they reek of deception.