What a shock to find that the budget filled with pork was held back until after the mid-terms by Dirty Harry Reid. It’s a $1.1 trillion dollar monstrosity to fund the federal government until the end of Sept., 2011 when the fiscal year ends. The focus as usual will be on the thousands of earmarks totaling over $8 billion dollars. Guess what? They come from both sides of the aisle so you can’t blame one party or the other for not listening to the election message. Even if the public outcry were great enough to convince Congress to eliminate them voluntarily, the total budget would not be reduced a penny. Still $1.1 trillion.

Mike Shedlock has a good link up showing where all $130 billion dollars in earmarks from 2011 appropriated spending is going. Check it out here. Enjoy the transparency while you can. Earmark reform will eliminate this track record of who is spending what. The American people are being hoodwinked on this issue as well. Eliminating earmarks won’t save you a single penny of your tax dollars. It will cost you plenty in that you won’t be able to see so easily what your members of Congress are doing with your money. Like I said, that $1.1 trillion stays the same. Now it will just be allocated out of the sunlight without accountability.

The media confuses pork with earmarks. An earmark is simply a member allocating funds to a specific project in his/her district. Like they should be doing as you hired them to represent your interests and bring federal tax dollars back to your district. Now, without a doubt, it may be wasteful and we may not like it, but that’s why you hold them accountable at the ballot box.

Pork, on the other hand, is just wasteful spending from with-in a bill. Which is what you will have with this budget. The $8 billion in earmarks, assuming they are eliminated, will still stay in the bill. Now it can be spent wherever dingy Harry decides. Eliminated earmark funding converts to discretionary funding. Congress loves general funds. Slush funds are their idea of nirvana. They can waste it any way they choose without worrying about silly little details like accountability. Accountability which you are demanding they remove.

I think every single dollar of every single spending bill should be earmarked. I want to know who asked for it, where it’s going and exactly how much it is. It’s like a complete audit of members of Congress that we can utilize at the ballot box to determine who is spending our tax dollars wisely. To do otherwise is just asking for fraud,waste and abuse and that’s what we get. Do you want to eliminate wasteful government spending as you said at the ballot box? If politicians have to publicly account for every dollar in a proposed spending bill before it is passed, do you think some of the garbage may not be in there? It’s amazing what a deterrent a bright spotlight is as opposed to the dark shadows.

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8 thoughts on “Congress is having a pig roast and you aren’t invited

  1. I don’t know, 5etester. I think I am going to have to disagree with you on this one. We have a mixed bag in Oklahoma, with Senator Coburn against earmarks and Senator Inhofe for them. Inhofe’s argument for them is basically the same as you have outlined in your post. Coburn has a different take on it, as you might expect. If you are interested, you can see what he has to say on my blog.

    http://www.ldjackson.net/news-politics/the-myths-and-realities-of-earmarks/

  2. Well, shoot. I meant to add more below the link I provided.

    I do agree with you about the pork spending that they are including in this legislation. It is far past time that these people were held accountable for how they treat the spending legislation that comes through Congress.

  3. Oh, the vast majority disagree with me on this one. I think we get too caught up in the terminology. What is pork, what is an earmark, etc., it’s confusing.

    My view is this. I absolutely want my Congressman bringing my districts share of my federal tax dollars back to my district. The only way that happens is earmarks.

    I view pork as just wasteful spending in general and we’re all against that. An earmark is technically not pork. It merely highlights which member of Congress sponsored it. Of course, most people in other districts will view it as pork because their district doesn’t benefit.

    I see a spending bill without earmarks which tie each dollar to its sponsor as a slush fund. You have no idea where the money is going, which lobbyists and special interests are being rewarded, which preferred contractors or unions are being paid off, none of it. You leave it all up to Pelosi and Reid to direct where those dollars are spent. Why would anyone feel more comfortable with that scenario? Remember that eliminating an earmark does NOT reduce the cost at all.

    I may be in the minority, but for the life of me I can’t understand why. I want total accountability. I want someone’s name attached to every dollar spent. Earmarking is the only way to do it.

  4. BTW- I did read the post and I generally do like Coburn. I think maybe the best way forward would be to drop the monikers and thus the confusion. What we’re all really after is reducing spending and holding these guys accountable and transparency is the best way.

  5. Well, I have to say you have given me food for thought. I’m not sure I have or will change my mind about earmarks (just ask my wife or my boss, I can be pretty stubborn if I think I am right) 😉 but I will certainly be thinking about this. Who knows, I may even feel a new post coming on.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. I’m glad to see you’re at least taking another look. For the record, I see many problems with earmarks as they stand and I would be open to some people’s fresh ideas on how we can achieve complete accountability and transparency while still enabling members of Congress to do their jobs of representing us.

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