Raymond Hernandez, in his New York Times post, still doesn’t get it and he’s found that many in Congress are also missing the point of the earmark moritorium.
On Capitol Hill, though, many lawmakers remain opposed to the ban, including Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York, who has long supported overhauling the earmark process and who was among the first lawmakers to place her own requests online.
“It’s shortsighted and misguided,” Ms. Gillibrand said, noting that such money is particularly important these days with local and state governments making cuts.
What’s shortsighted and misguided is the spending that Representatives and Senators have shoved into bills without having to have a direct vote on the initiatives. If this spending is such a great idea, why can’t it stand that test by a House and Senate vote? Because that kind of spending shouldn’t be done at the federal level and would fail that vote.
Steve Axinn, the president of Lake Oscawana Civic Association, agreed. “Not all earmarks are the same,” he said. “There are some that are good and some that are clearly abusive. It is the responsibility of our elected representatives to know the difference.”
That’s the problem, they are all the same. Every earmark is a simple bribe. The Times article goes on to make the case that earmarks aren’t a large portion of government spending.
For all the debate that earmarks stir, the amount of money directed toward them is relatively small. For the fiscal year that ended in September, earmarks made up $15.9 billion of a $3.5 trillion federal budget, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a government watchdog group.
In “The .5% Lie Progressives Need You To Believe“, it’s obvious that earmarks aren’t dangerous because of the small amount of spending they represent, it’s how earmarks garner support for the larger spending bill by bribing an otherwise fiscally-opposed member of Congress into voting for it.
Earmarks are not a major issue as a pure percentage of federal spending. Earmarks are an issue because they tend to force a yes vote on larger spending bills even though the larger spending bill may not be in the best interest of the nation. This is how “no” votes are turned into “yes” votes, the sponsors of the bill give favors to the dissenters in the form of pork barrel spending, pet projects, earmarks, or whatever else you want to call them.
Libraries and museums are a good thing to spend money on, but not Federal funds. If a community wants a museum, it should pay for it from city and state funds. Why should someone in Detroit fund a library near New York city? How many libraries in other states did Sen. Gillibrand’s constituents help fund with their taxes? They’ll never know and that’s the point.
By making spending local, it will likely be more tightly controlled. If property, sales and income taxes keep going up to fund local spending, that local populace will cry out – with their votes. Well, now this abusive spending has reached such levels that the entire country has cried out “Quit spending, quit spending, quit spending”. It would appear that Congressional Progressive Democrats like Kirsten Gillibrand just aren’t hearing them.