Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bush surrenders to the pork

There was a time not long ago when President Bush felt that pork was not a good thing. Before bacon lovers all over America unite to protest this past behavior, this is congressional pork. The fat that only congress seems to love.

This latest transportation bill was one of the largest pork producers I've seen in recent times. I wonder if there was anyone that voted for it that didn't get something out of it. So what did our former anti-pork President do? Signed it, allowing all of that fat to clog the arteries of our government with the end result if this continues the same as the human body. Eventually the heart will give out unable to carry that extra fat streaming about.

Some examples from the above linked Washington Post article:

....hundreds of millions of dollars will be channeled to programs that critics say have nothing to do with improving congestion or efficiency: $2.3 million for the beautification of the Ronald Reagan Freeway in California; $6 million for graffiti elimination in New York; nearly $4 million on the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio, and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.; $2.4 million on a Red River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Louisiana; and $1.2 million to install lighting and steps and to equip an interpretative facility at the Blue Ridge Music Center, to name a few.

"There are nearly 6,500 member-requested projects worth more than $24 billion, nearly nine percent of the total spending," executives from six taxpayer and conservative groups complained in a letter to Bush urging that he use his veto pen for the first time. They noted that Reagan vetoed a transportation bill in 1987 because there were 152 such special requests, known in the parlance of congressional budgeting as "earmarks."

In the years since the 2003 budget was introduced, pork-barrel spending has climbed from $20.1 billion to $27.3 billion, with the number of earmarked projects rising from 8,341 to 13,999, according to Schatz's group.

Bush's signature "encourages members of Congress to engage in pork-barrel spending on a massive scale, because there's no restraint on the part of the leadership or the White House," Schatz concluded. "I don't know how else to say it."

I don't know how else you could say it either, or if any of them are bothering to listen.

16 comments:

Cyberseaer said...

Politics as usual. There should be an ammendment passed that would not allow earmarks or other additions to be put on a bill being voted on to make a law. That would be a nice start of cutting the pork.

Lisa Renee said...

Or line item veto so if it was really an important "earmark" they'd all have to agree to over turn the veto.

Aaron said...

One man's pork is another man's earmark. McCain takes the approach that true pork are the issues that get hooked on emergency appropriations bills and other spending bills because they have no merit on their own.

http://mccain.senate.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=NewsCenter.Pork

I'm glad he isn't afraid speak up about these situations. It is ironic that one of the great heroes of our time, being a Republican, gets ridiculed on AM talk whenever he speaks out against something bad he sees happening in the GOP. Worse yet he might be collaberating with the Democrats again to actually get something done!

Me4Prez said...

Initially, I thought maybe he hired Monica as his new office assistant, but then I read the rest.

It is one thing to add some pork, because there are some things truly worth doing. But for some reason I doubt that most of these things were necessities. Probably just things to kick off the campaign season

Lisa Renee said...

The libertarian part of me doesnt believe any pork is good. If it is an idea that is truly necessary for the government to spend money on it should be a separate bill not an add on to get votes.

I've seen very few of these pork projects that I agree with or feel has a benefit that should be provided by federal tax dollars.

One of the reasons I think we need the line item veto. Especially since we have a President who wimps out and doesn't use the veto.

Jonathan said...

Lisa, you read my sentiments and commented on my blog about it. I'm in complete agreement with you on this one.

No pork project is worthy of federal funding. Let the state fund it, if it's so damned important. I don't like the fruits of my labor being confiscated to pay for a bridge in Anchorage named after the man who pilfered my paycheck to pay for it...but that's me. I'm funny that way, I guess!

historymike said...

I agree, Aaron. Limbaugh et al are relentless in their attacks on moderate GOP politicians like McCain and Voinovich.

As far as I am concerned, these two men are among the best the Republicans have to offer.

Lisa Renee said...

Jonathan's post on this from earlier had a good quote from McCain.

Here

He isn't a fan of McCain, I was more in support of McCain until this past presidential election. I still respect him more than I do quite a few of them there though.

Hooda Thunkit said...

So what’s wrong with a little pork among friends?

I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it; it’s MY money that they’re buying their pork with!

Like the legendary Tip O’Neal (I believe Tip said this) once said, (Note: this may not be an exact quote)

“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”


The problem with this attitude is that it’s MY money that they’re spending and it’s all REAL to me. So, I’d really appreciate it if the politicians would allow me to spend it as I see fit.


Now, if we could just get the gubment (our gubment) to pass all laws, appropriations, etc. individually and stop tacking things on for what amounts to a free ride on another bill’s, law’s or apropriation’s coattails, so to speak. Give everything an up or down vote of its’ own. Let each law, appropriation, etc. stand on its’ own.

And give the President, ALL Presidents the line item veto.

If something is really good and worthy on its’ own merits, it will pass.

Of course, I still believe in Santa Clause ;-)

Brew said...

God forbid bush ever got a line item veto - we'd never get ANYTHING done. California has the blue pencil, and the Governator used it to kill anything remotely associated with labor, a handful of healthcare programs, and a lot of other stuff he had promised to keep.

Can you imagine what W would kill? Goodbye National Endowment for the [fill in cultural institution here]. National Institutes of Health? They're teachin' that there Evo-lootion. Slash. Envi-ro-mental Protectshun? Slash. Yeah. Thank good for the rider.

Jonathan said...

Goodbye National Endowment for the [fill in cultural institution here].

Brew, we should be so lucky. Tell me where in the Constitution that it says one of the crucial functions of the federal government is to fund the NEA or anything like that. You can't. It's not there.

States can fund anything that they damned well please, per the 10th Amendment. It is an abuse of taxpayer funds (not to mention our Constitution) for the federal government to confiscate my paycheck to fund "Piss Christ." The miscreants who collect paychecks from the federal government (that they'd be unable to collect in the marketplace of ideas) fancy themselves as artists...when they're nothing more than welfare recipients.

If NY wants to subsidize the Virgin Mary splattered with elephant dung, more power to them. But I'll be damned if I'm gonna be quiet about the fruits of my labor being seized to fund the fruits of fruits (read that how you will).

I don't care if it's a Republican or Democrat Congress...money will get spent on completely inappropriate and unconstitutional ways.

Lisa Renee said...

Brew, yes there would be some risk to a line item veto, but it's obvious Congress is not going to control their spending on pork projects.

Given that they will probably never agree to a line item veto either but something has to be done.

However, had the president veto'd this as he stated he would have sent the right message. Since he did not? Nothing is going to change.

Faith said...

I'm so outdone with this President and administration and those whose acceptance is bought, I could just ... well, my oven timer says I ought to be at right temperature in less than 20 minutes. :) Seriously, there is no excuse for this. None ! Self-serving doesn't even cut thru the muck. A nest of rats in D.C. that need be placed in a lab.

Faith said...

I'm not certain Pres. Bush would veto if he could. Am quite certain he'd need confer with Cheney and Rove first for an explanation of what he read. :) Yea, yea, I'm being a tad naughteeee but I, too, am resentful at the pork and how it's hastily stapled to bills. Cash out of my pocket whether the ' hog ' sizzles in my skillet or not. :)

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