Thursday, December 16, 2010

Massive Federal Budget Bill – MA Democrats Scramble for Earmarks – Scott Brown (R-MA) name erroneously placed on earmark request!

The 1900 plus page budget for the United States Government is now available for viewing online HERE . Included in the budget are billions in earmarks for a variety of projects that, depending upon ones point of view, might be shelved – permanently. The earmarks are so extensive that separate tables are available for public viewing by department. The Financial Services Earmark Chart at (here) includes 5 pages in small type by line item and Congressional Representative requests or “earmarks”. There is also an 11 page Agriculatural Earmark Chart (here), a 29 page table on each spending item requested by each Senator and/or Congressman (here). (and multiple tables follow) The later, includes a mere $600,000 request from Barney Frank (D-MA) and John Kerry (D-MA) to study scallops. The Bill, from start to finish is peppered with two words in particular: research and salaries. The sheer size and scope of the Government can only be appreciated when one does a search for “salaries” in this document. For example: (from the Bill text) “ For salaries and expenses of the House of Representatives, $1,371,172,000” – one might ask does the Citizen legislature seriously require 1.3 Billion dollars for salaries? Of course, compared to the balance of the budget, that may be considered “chump change”.

Understanding why the Massachusetts Congressional Representatives and one Senator (Kerry) might not understand the publics distaste for Earmarks (otherwise known as wasteful and/or unnecessary spending) due to their keeping their jobs in 2010 (by the skin of their teeth and a lot of help from “Dream Act” voters). They are clearly deluded into thinking that Massachusetts ever shrinking pool of taxpayers actually supports the process. There is clearly no excuse for those in the 111th Congress who did not lose their jobs in the mid-terms and are (including the Massachusetts Congressional Reps) all up for reelection in two short years, to so clearly ignore the general public in the waning hours of the Democrat Controlled 111th Congress by loading the next budget (late as it may be) up to the hilt with unnecessary spending.

The lone Republican in the Massachusetts mix, Senator Scott Brown (MA-R), had his name erronealy attached to a pork spending project by an appropriations committee aid. He requested it be removed. (Boston Globe) Brown is clearly aware that the election in 2012 depends upon his (and any other Congressional Representative or Senator) paring down the budget, not adding “junk” items, or items that are clearly unnecessary. Apparently the balance of the Democrats and some Republicans in both houses don’t understand what happened on the 2nd of November 2010, of course, a good percentage of those that do not, were not faced with an electorate, and will not, again, be up for reelection until 2012.

Some of the projects deemed worthy by Boston Globe Standards include the following: $8 million for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute which, as noted by the Globe has already received 30 plus million in public funding There is also a $600,000 grant to research scallop fishing stock in New England. It is difficult to fathom, that while those taxpayers who are struggling to get by, watch $600,000 go to a University in order to study scallops, which, at $13.00 per pound in most grocery stores, is out of reach to the average household. As to the legacy of Edward M. Kennedy and an institute in Washington DC receiving any funding, let alone an additional $8 million, is purely frivolous.

In total the Massachusetts Democrat Delegation had requested 576 earmarks worth $1.4 billion which was “narrowed down in committee to merely 174 earmarks worth $213.4 million. (Boston Globe)
Therefore, as the 111th Congress, controlled by the Democrats, continues to throw away taxpayers dollars until the last hour of their tenure, it is hoped that those incoming Republican’s will do the job they were sent to D.C. to do, and reign in this nonsense. Incoming Speaker of the House, John Boehner has promised weekly spending cuts. As to all the Congressional Representatives and Senators who are looking to 2012, understand that the issue of being fiscally responsible will directly impact ones chances of reelection regardless of Political Party Affiliation.

Best quote from a MA Congressional Representative in the Globe article goes to Richard Neal (who lost his bid to Sander Levin of MI to become the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee)

Representative Richard Neal, the Springfield Democrat, said yesterday that the earmarks for Massachusetts in the bill support jobs and would be helpful to the state’s economy.
“What’s missing in this discussion about earmarks,’’ said Neal, is that attempts to ban them “would transfer spending authority from Congress to the White House. I have always resisted anything that weakens congressional authority. I like to say, ‘You can get a meeting with your congressman. Try getting a meeting with the president.’ ’’

One might suggest to Congressman Neal, that is what’s missing from his fallacious argument is the fact that earmarks are a rather recent addition to the budget process and have nothing to do with taking away or giving any powers to the Executive Branch (which does have the power of line-item veto) as it stands.
Kudos to Scott Brown for not requesting any earmarks.

1 comment:

I'm Just Musing said...

While many of my Tea Party friends continue to complain about Scott Brown, this is another example of why i voted for him and will again. He sticks to what he believes is best for us and does exactly what he promised in his campaign.

As far as "continuing the Kennedy legacy" old Ted spent enough of my money while he was alive, I don't need him spending any more now that he's gone.

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