Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Keeping the ol' boys around

Newsday has an article showing the depth of their typical analysis. The issue was the Republican promise to stop earmark spending and how much money will be “lost” to LI as when this practice stops. They listed about $18 million of $65 million in earmarks that the local Democratic will admit to obtaining. To say that this was a somewhat shortsighted analysis is an understatement. Some things to consider:
These 6 people got this money but there were another 529 people in Congress trying to feed at the same trough - a trough that is 41% filled with borrowed money – mostly from China.
The rest comes from taxes. Of all the tax money that goes to Washington, a higher percentage of that money comes from LI than the percentage of the earmark money LI gets back. Seems like a bad deal to me.
It can be debated as to whether all of the recipients of this largesse are properly objects of the federal government.
Finally, this is the tip of the iceberg. The use of earmarks is well established as a means for obtaining votes in Congress that are not otherwise available. The game is You-vote- for-my-money-wasting-bill-that-you-don’t-like-but-contains-your-earmark-and-I-will-vote-for-your-bill-that-I-don’t-like-but-contians-my-earmark. No one sponsors a bill with their own earmarks and the tradeoff protects everyone. The amount of money that is spent on bills that only pass because of this is incalculable. It is not just the earmarked money.

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