The Truth Shall Set You Free…It might piss you off first, but it will set you free.

Rep. Mantra of 2011 – No More Earmarks or Welcome to Fantasy Land

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on January 2, 2011

2011 will usher in a Republican lead house who has vowed “No more earmarks” .  A noble cause to be sure after funding a “Bridge to Nowhere” and a variety of other pure wasteful spending bills.   Earmarks are part of the legislative process, like it or not.  So how does one get around that pesky little problem once you have campaigned on a “no more earmarks!” election?

We can take a lesson from Michele Bachmann, leader of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress, wants to “redefine” earmarks.  Mmmm redefine…is that like when you are pregnant you say you have a “bun in the oven”?  .. like when somebody dies they are pushing up daisies?… you get my point the end result is the same, I don’t care what you call it Michelle, earmarks are earmarks.  But if you want to play spin the earmark, go ahead.   Here is a partial list of earmarks in 2008 Michele has requested (Source)  She did not request earmarks during the campaigning of 2009 a notable event.

  • $94,000 for Sheriffs Youth Program of MN
  • $335,000 for Equipment Acquisition for Northland Medical Center
  • $803,000 for Replacement Small Buses, St. Cloud Metro Bus

While the good people of MN were experiencing less federal government in their lives while  Michele was campaigning and ranting about socialized government,  her family was more than happy to receive funds from the federal government.   On her 2008 Financial Disclosure Statement she lists among her assets an interest in the Independence, Wisc., farm worth between $100,001 and $250,000.  This same farm received federal farm subsidies  to the tune of $259,332 paid to a family farm between 1995 and 2008.  (Source)This  is sorta like I was for it, then I was against it, and if this Munky were to look into the crystal ball of the future I bet she will be for some other “redefined” federal spending.

Here’s a preview of how Michele is going to re-define earmarks… Congress should exempt “roads, bridges and interchanges” and recommends that if a town, city, county or state approves a project, a lawmaker in Washington should be able to submit a request — a practice she says she has followed. Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, says Congress should earn back the public’s trust before considering a new definition but concedes the earmark ban will bring about “unintended consequences.”  (Source)  Oh, OK!  But wait a minute,  isn’t that what Pres. Obama’s stimulus package included – infrastructure?  So the truth is those stimulus projects are really ok, but the right side of the US certainly could not admit that could they?

The fact of the matter is earmarks have a place in our country.  Case in point? The $400,000 earmark that funds the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, which helps connect military service members and their families with private-practice physicians. That’s necessary because Fort Drum, in upstate New York, is the only Army base in the country without its own hospital.   (Source)

I wonder how a Tea Party electee could deny funding basic health care for the military?  Oh wait, these are the same people who want to deny health care to EVERYBODY.

Hate to burst the bubble of hopeful, because here is the reality of who is making headlines in the GOP

  • Representative Hal “Prince of Pork” Rogers to chair the House Appropriations Committee, who pushed through 135 earmarks at a cost of $246 million in the past two years alone.
  • Representative Dave Camp, someone best known for protecting tax loopholes that reward big corporations for shipping American jobs overseas, to Chair the Ways and Means Committee.
  • Representative Spencer Bachus, chief Republican negotiator of the tea-party hated TARP bailout to lead the House Financial Services Committee.
  • Those new Tea Party electees?  Well 9 of them have already hired  K Street lobbyists as their top aides.

What we have allowed to be elected into office with these right wing nut jobs, is a group of people who have no intention of conducting the business of the people.  Should be an interesting year folks…stay tuned.


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