Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pigs at the trough

Jamie Dupree put together a handy collection of links that allows you to take a look at the earmarks your senator has included in the new budget bill.

One of my senators is requesting 13 earmarks (* Turns out this in not true. Dems played dirty. See both updates below!); the other is requesting 32. As far as I can tell there's not a single item on the list that the Constitution says they are allowed to spend money on, and they want to spend millions.

Dupree writes:
The projects include the usual smattering of things that make some lawmakers go nuts, like $300,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

"I'm not making it up," said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who again took to the floor on Tuesday to denounce the thousand of earmarks in this bill from both parties.

"The American people said just 42 days ago, 'Enough!'" said McCain. "Are we tone deaf? Are we stricken with amnesia?"

h/t: JammieWearingFool

* Update: Despite his request for 13 earmarks, Judd Gregg has announced that he will vote against the omnibus bill. Apparently, he got the message voters sent on November 2. As Milton Friedman said, it's nice to elect the right people, but the way you get things done is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.

Unfortunately, I can't imagine my other senator, Jeanne Shaheen, will do the right thing under any circumstances.

Update: Kimberley Strassel reports that "omnibus author and Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye dug up earmark requests that Senate Republicans had made in the past year (prior to their self-imposed ban) and, unasked, included them in the bill."

Apparently, Inouye was trying to play a dirty trick, inserting the outdated earmark requests into the bill in hopes of luring Republicans into voting for it, and also setting them up to take the blame if it passed. Pretty slimy stuff -- and it might have worked if not for the leadership of Mitch McConnell.

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