Media Lies About the Budget Earmarks

Listening to the RINOS foaming about the pork in Obama's budget is another example of why the Far Right is losing. According to their own numbers, over half the earmarks were placed there by GOP legislators.

As if that wasn't hypocritical enough, many of these same frauds have angrily denounced the Democrats' 'pork-barrel spending' and voted against the budget (knowing full well it would pass) with all their own pork-barrel projects intact.

Obama, meanwhile, has acted---again---more like a libertarian than those who purport to be. He has announced future earmarks be publicly exposed and debated; and opening competative bidding on federally-funded projects (something the Bushmen refused to do).

--- End forwarded message ---

It is a spectacle all right, but as the term "RINO" (Republican In Name Only) implies, I suspect few Republicans in Congress can be called "Far Right" with much justification, just as I doubt many congressional Democrats can justifiably be called "Far Left." Most elected representatives of both establishment parties are clearly in it for the power and money. They have no problem acting hypocritically, because they lack any strong principles that would be violated by such hypocrisy. Neither establishment party faithfully represents the political agenda of the grassroots supporters who constitute its base.

  As Ron Paul and others have explained however, all the furor over "earmarks" is misleading. The real issue is spending. When Congress votes to earmark money in a spending bill for some particular pet project, this does *not* increase spending, as seems to be popularly believed. All it means is that Congress has stepped in and decided to micro-manage a bit of federal spending which would otherwise be determined by unelected bureaucrats in some government agency. While such spending decisions are more likely to be "political" when made by Congress than when made by the bureaucracy, this does *not* necessarily mean the outcomes will be any worse. Sometimes government decisions are negatively affected for having been influenced by politics, but on other occasions bringing politics into the process actually results in a more pro-freedom outcome.

  While limiting the ability of members of Congress to pander and "bring home the bacon" could conceivably have the beneficial effect of reducing their popularity and making it easier for non-incumbents to get elected, this must be weighed against the facts that (1) constitutionally, spending decisions are more properly in the hands of Congress than delegated to federal agencies, and (2) it is the executive branch more than Congress which is seriously out of control and a threat to liberty. Therefore, from a libertarian perspective, the fight over earmarks looks to me largely like a wash.

  When federal spending decisions are made by executive branch employees or appointees, a U.S. president has more control over those decisions than he does if the decisions are made by Congress. Since Obama is president, it is therefore no surprise whatsoever that he would seek to restrain congressional earmarking. It's in his own political self-interest. McCain also spoke out strongly against earmarks when running for president (but not, I suspect, so strongly now that he is back in Congress). On the other hand, if Obama succeeds in forcing Congress to engage in more genuine and open debate about legislation in general, or manages to make bidding on federal projects more open and competitive, those could be positive developments. Without knowing more about the details of what he's calling for, however, it's not clear whether implementing his proposals would have these positive effects or not.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

Obama could easily do this now! What is this FUTURE thing? Like sure - - - I smashed your car
but I won't do it again - - - I'll be more careful in the future - - - sob, sob!
Sorry, I don't buy it. The American people would be saps to buy this crap!
Bob Parkhurst