Book Recommendations? | Main | A Genuine Economist Also Thinks Payroll Tax Cuts Are a Great Idea
February 10, 2009

John Lott: Why Doesn't Obama Propose the Stimulus He Actually Campaigned On?

Bait and switch. He promised a much more sensible stimulus with more tax cuts -- and costing only $174 billion -- as Candidate Obama.

As President Obama, he is ramming an $1.3 trillion porkfest on us and claiming the "people have spoken" and have endorsed this plan through their votes.

Actually, to the extent they endorsed anything, they endorsed the more Republican-friendly $174 billion plan.


AP meanwhile actually bothers to fact-check Obama and finds him... less than honest.

At least Route 31 is a road to somewhere.

President Barack Obama had it both ways Monday when he promoted his stimulus plan in Indiana. He bragged about getting Congress to produce a package with no pork, yet boasted it will do good things for a Hoosier highway and a downtown overpass, just the kind of local projects lawmakers lard into big spending bills.

Obama's sales pitch on the enormous package he wants Congress to make law has sizzle as well as steak. He's projecting job creation numbers that may be impossible to verify and glossing over some ethical problems that bedeviled his team.

In recent years, the so-called Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska came to symbolize the worst excesses of congressional earmarks, a device that allows a member of Congress to add money for local projects in legislation, practically under the radar.
Nothing so bold, or specific, as that now-discarded bridge project is contained in the stimulus package. That's not to say the package steers clear of waste or parochial interests. Obama played to such interests Monday, speaking at one point as if he'd come to fill potholes.

A look at some of Obama's claims in Elkhart, Ind., in advance of a prime-time news conference called to make his case to the largest possible audience:
OBAMA: "I know that there are a lot of folks out there who've been saying, 'Oh, this is pork, and this is money that's going to be wasted,' and et cetera, et cetera. Understand, this bill does not have a single earmark in it, which is unprecedented for a bill of this size. ... There aren't individual pork projects that members of Congress are putting into this bill."

THE FACTS: There are no "earmarks," as they are usually defined, inserted by lawmakers in the bill. Still, some of the projects bear the prime characteristics of pork - tailored to benefit specific interests or to have thinly disguised links to local projects.

For example, the latest version contains $2 billion for a clean-coal power plant with specifications matching one in Mattoon, Ill., $10 million for urban canals, $2 billion for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrid cars, and $255 million for a polar icebreaker and other "priority procurements" by the Coast Guard.
Obama told his Elkhart audience that Indiana will benefit from work on "roads like U.S. 31 here in Indiana that Hoosiers count on." He added: "And I know that a new overpass downtown would make a big difference for businesses and families right here in Elkhart."

U.S. 31 is a north-south highway serving South Bend, 15 miles from Elkhart in the northern part of the state.

First of all, there are earmarks in the bill. Earmarks can be either "hard earmarks" (actually encoded into the legislation) or "soft earmarks" (not actually part of the law, but included in legislative reports strongly signaling to those who will spend the money what Daddy Earbucks wants the money spent on).

The AP is claiming the "usual definition" to be that only soft earmarks are actually earmarks, and thus, the earmarks in the bill being hard earmarks, are not earmarks at all.

That's just not true. Obama is simply lying. There is pork and there are earmarks in the bill. AP's "usual definition" of what earmarks is somewhat unusual in that it's flat-out wrong and a shabby contrivance designed to absolve Obama of the charge of direct and unambiguous lie.

AP is taking a page from Bill Clinton. Is oral sex not sex? Are hard earmarks not earmarks? I would think the terms themselves would answer those questions fairly dispositively. HINT: See the last part of each term.

And, meanwhile, Charles Schumer delcares the country doesn't care about pork.



digg this
posted by Ace at 03:24 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
buzzion: "[I]248 First, buzzion; and now Sowell. Will this y ..."

Anna Puma (HQCaR): "Sefton, I think Helen Thomas could make Weinstein' ..."

dagny: "My son called to tell me that his Virginia univers ..."

Hadrian the Seventh: " [i]So some are quite willing to pimp their kids ..."

Mortimer - disappointed: "Look at Warden's link. Barbara Walter's shames the ..."

willow: "dagny, I'm sorry I know how that goes down. yeah ..."

18-1: "Culturally, it's about time for the arrival of our ..."

JoeF.: " I don't quite know what to make of Mel Gibson but ..."

TheJamesMadison: "341 "White people are evil! Reparations for all!" ..."

Downcast: "For my Sexy Harvey Halloween costume, do I need mo ..."

J.J. Sefton: " 347 They can't say bad things about gay people, ..."

Alberta Oil Peon, survivor of GNAMM: "A military government would likely quarter the bud ..."

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