Der Spiegel Gets Serious About Iran | Main | Japanese Men On Love Strike
January 10, 2006

John Fund: GOP Must Get Serious On Pork Or Lose Power

If Republicans want to weather the Abramoff storm, they're going to have to be committed to reform, as they were supposed to be in the first place.

Getting out ahead on pork is as good a method as any:

It's fitting that Rep. Tom DeLay is returning to his seat on the Appropriations Committee now that he is gone for good as House majority leader. It was his years serving in that "favor factory" that gradually turned him into a purveyor of pork who last fall claimed there was no more budget fat to cut. His departure gives Republicans a chance to return to first principles. If they don't, they may face a political drubbing.

...

...

Nothing better illustrates the meltdown in spending restraint than earmarking, the process by which members secure special pork projects such as Alaska's infamous $223 million "bridge to nowhere." Pork is an inevitable product of political compromise, but earmarks are a particularly corrupt form. They are often last-minute additions to conference reports that were never considered in the original bills passed by either the House or Senate. They can thus avoid competitive bidding, performance standards or even disclosure of the direct recipient.

In 1998, Congress approved 1,850 earmarks just for transportation projects. Last year's transportation bill contained 6,371. Earmarks have become the corrupt currency by which bills like the ruinously expensive prescription drug entitlement are bought vote by vote. They inevitably result in some lower-priority projects being funded first, with potentially disastrous results. In Louisiana, the Army Corps of Engineers spent $1.9 billion between 2000 and 2005, more than 80% of which was earmarked. Less than 4% of the total was spent on protecting levees, while over a third of the money went to building a new lock on an underused canal. Then along came Hurricane Katrina.

...

The federal government is now 250 times as big in real terms as it was a century ago. If Republicans don't use Mr. DeLay's departure to restore their limited-government credentials, they will see their own voters rebel.

Read the whole thing. Rep. Jeff Flake and Sen. Tom Coburn propose some common sense reforms-- like subjecting earmarks to amendment (they weren't already?) and requiring those who offer earmarks to identify who requested the earmark and who benefits from it. (Again: this wasn't required already?)

Those two very simple reforms could go a long way towards cutting down on the problem. No one wants to have a montage-clip of them running during an election season introducing earmark after earmark requested by "the poor farmers at ADM."

More on the earmark-corruption connection at Instapundit, via a Tom Coburn staffer named Sean Davis.


digg this
posted by Ace at 02:47 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Aetius451AD: "Last bout of food poisoning for me was Taco Bell. ..."

Zod: ">>429 419. I guess Zod got that because the sushi ..."

LASue: "432. I question eating at any fast food place that ..."

t-bird: "[i] Sorry Sarah.. we won't be intimidated.[/i]You ..."

Shep Smith: ""She should hand him a ball-gag and a selfie-stick ..."

Retard Strength Trumps Smart Power: "Pool spray? Sounds pretty gay if you ask me NTT ..."

Cuthbert the Witless: "422 >>I got very sick from the first Whatta ..."

Mr. Peebles: "I assumed Trump meant Gillibrand gave out politica ..."

publius, the Persistent Poperin Pear: ">>Ahhh, so it is a real term. I assumed it involve ..."

CharlieBrown'sDildo: "That ginger whore Wendy nearly killed me.[i]Posted ..."

Benji Carver : ""Laugh of the Day: Fauxcahontas accusing Trump of ..."

Harvey Weinstein: ""387 A pool spray is a brief photo opportunity, fo ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64