Monday, February 14, 2011

The Porker Mentality.... Owned by Dems and Repubs

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism

Forgive my skepticism, but  please people, do not anticipate change anytime soon. Short of an Egyptian style revolution.

As House conservatives push for ever-deeper spending cuts, a tough question confronts GOP leaders: What sweetener will convince their rank and file to swallow bitter budget medicine?

In the past, that sweetener would have been earmarks, the local pork barrel projects that lawmakers could trumpet to constituents back home. Now earmarks are gone, or at least drastically curtailed, banished first by Republicans and more recently by President Obama and Senate Democrats.

Some argue that earmarks will now simply go underground, and that lawmakers will channel federal money to pet projects through federal grants, tax credits, and other avenues. No doubt the business of bringing home the bacon will continue, and Washington lobbyists who’ve built a lucrative industry out of earmarks are already reassuring clients that federal money lives on.

“You need certain tools to make legislation flow, and this was a great tool,” said former Rep. James Walsh, R-N.Y., now a government affairs counselor at the law firm of K&L Gates. Walsh should know: He served 16 years on the House Appropriations Committee and chaired four Appropriations subcommittees while on Capitol Hill. Earmarks “always get criticized,” Walsh added. “But if you’re in the room making sausage, you need to round up votes.”

“Money will find a way, and it will be far less transparent,” said Walsh. He added: “It’s part of the genetic makeup of a legislator to try to find a way to help your community.”

Yup, looks like the American song and dance routine will continue for the foreseeable future.

Good luck America! Read the rest of the sordid details here.

Cross posted to the Left Coast Rebel

Via: Memeorandum


  1. Well, speaking of money...

    "Obama budget resurrects rejected tax increases"
    Yeah. No sh*t. We hadn't noticed.

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's budget proposal resurrects a series of tax increases on certain corporations and the wealthy that were largely ignored by Congress when Democrats controlled both chambers. Republicans, who now control the House, are signaling they will be even less receptive.

    The plan unveiled Monday includes tax increases for oil, gas and coal producers, investment managers and U.S.-based multinational corporations. The plan would allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012 for individuals making more than $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000. Wealthy taxpayers would have their itemized deductions limited starting in 2012, including deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.

  2. It was a big mistake to target earmarks for elimination. They are relatively cheap and efficient way of passing larger legislation. Republicans and conservatives have long acknowledged that elimating earmarks is more symbolism than substance. They are a tiny portion of the budget, and most of them are productive investments.

    But the symbolism was clear and understandable. Many earmarks are utterly frivolous, some are downright crinimal, and most are given to buy votes on larger issues, which is institutional corruption for all intents and purposes. But they are a small moral and monetary price to pay for getting necessary legislation through the congress.

    Reagan rode the earmark to presidential stardom. So did Clinton. It's an especially useful tool for presidents whose parties are in the minority. And most earmarks mean jobs and positive public investment, so maybe it's time we start discussing the earmark issue more like adults instead of knee-jerk ideologues. Maybe there's a less corrupting way of accomplishing that sort of micro-infrastructural/institutional investment at the fedreal level.

    I know you guys are simply against all federal investment at the local level at all, but then you guys seem to think like antibellum southern plantation owners half the time, what with all that "states rights" nonsense. What about the race to the bottom? What? Never considered that little theory?


    1. I saw this one come up, so I will comment

      " What about the race to the bottom? What? Never considered that little theory?"

      Yes, the race to the bottom...... of low tax rates, low pork spending, low debt, low deficits, low abuse of power. I consider this readily.

      And your equating such views with being pro-slavery was offensive..
      That said, I hope you are well, Jersey!


  4. >>...what with all that "states rights" nonsense.

    I haven't the words to properly respond to such a statement. I feel a great swell of pity for you. I do.

    That is all.


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