Thursday, March 12, 2009
Broken Promises---Earmarks & "Unfinished Business"
Now that “President-elect”* Barack Obama has broken his landmark campaign promise to end earmark, (pork barrel) legislation, the public can begin to ask----“was there any critical part of your campaign where you told us the truth Mr. Obama?”
Jon Ward at the Washington Times observes that the spin cycle coming out of the White House is that the $410 billion omnibus bill, (written and passed by Nancy Pelosi’s democrats), was “unfinished business”:
“White House officials have said that the omnibus is "unfinished business" from last year, and on Monday, Mr. Gibbs argued that the government needs the bill to be passed so it can continue to function. Appropriations bills are done "usually before the fiscal year ends, generally before Congress recesses, most assuredly before the next Congress convenes. And I think blowing through all those hurdles rightly makes it last year's business," he said.” (link)
While these spinmiesters claim a bill with 9000 earmarks is unfinished business, maybe we can explain that 70% of the previously steroid-pumped baseball players deserve a break because it was unfinished business.
So, with this premise in mind, Obama marches up to his teleprompter this week and announces his “new” plan for earmark reform:
"Let there be no doubt: this piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business, and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability," Obama said in discussing his decision to sign the controversial measure.
"I am signing an imperfect ... bill because it's necessary for the ongoing functions of government, and we have a lot more work to do. We can't have Congress bogged down at this critical juncture in our economic recovery," he said.
Obama outlined a plan that would enable lawmakers to continue to earmark spending with a "legitimate and worthy public purpose," but would make the process more transparent and offer opportunities for public feedback before approval. (link)
Obama, who criticized earmarked spending during his presidential campaign, went behind closed doors to sign the $410 billion spending bill, which was approved by the Democratic-controlled Congress following a contentious debate.
What? No ceremony? Four months of a pork barrel spending at a billion a month is not worth celebrating? That was just peanuts:
"In just 50 days, Congress has voted to spend about $1.2 trillion," said Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the U.S. Senate. "To put that in perspective, that's about $24 billion a day, or about $1 billion an hour -- most of it borrowed."
O.K.-----Now can we celebrate?????? Not yet.
Read back up on this post where Obama says this is a “new era of responsibility and accountability” and see how he plans to reform earmark legislation with a "legitimate and worthy public purpose”. Here’s the key word, (public). Obama went on to explain in his speech that it was the earmarks that went to private entities that allowed the most corruption while the PUBLIC earmarks would pass with far less scrutiny. (Have you “got it” yet? Ding ding ding!----not yet?)
OK-----let me put this plainly------public means GOVERNMENT------and private means all the rest including small private businesses that provides the largest amount of tax revenue to our GOVERNMENT. If you want a school built in your district, it will be funded with a public earmark and preformed by UNION LABOR. Is this card-check legislation that congress will pass getting past your thinking cap?
Obama’s complete agenda is to make your government the sole enterprise in structuring and building this nation. If you own a private business that wants to compete in the process, go to the back of the line and wait for the union reps to show up. And certainly don’t look for any earmarks.
* (I called Obama President-elect out of respect for the fact that this legislation was last years unfinished business when the man had yet to be anointed)