8 thoughts on “First Tea Party Revolution Victory: Empowering Bureaucrats!

  1. PM says:

    the triumph of style over substance.

    i also love that the house republicans plan to balance the budget by cutting funding for NPR nazis.

    and the self styled champions of national security don’t seem to have noticed that the cold war is over, and don’t want to vote on the START Treaty!

  2. Joe Loveland says:

    I agree about style over substance.

    At the same time, shame on the Democrats for not taking this issue away by eliminating earmarks themselves, as Obama wanted to do. Yes, earmarks are nearly inconsequential fiscally. Yes, earmarks are not nearly as abused as they’re been portrayed to be. But the political costs of keeping earmarks hugely outweighed the political benefits.

    The good old boy Democratic committee chairs never fully understood how much of a political liability earmarking had become, because they’re so politically insulated in their safe districts.

    1. PM says:

      True. But, as you note, Obama has opposed them, and Mitch McConnell has supported them. Hard to make a partisan case on this issue.

      but this is a part of the problem–there are political insiders on both sides who are united in support of things like earmarks. it is the small corruption (really, more a corruption of ethics than actual big $$) that starts it all….

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        Totally agree about bipartisan blame for earmarks. The two parties are true partners on this one.

        I’m more ticked at Democrats because I expect more of them. When you are the party that bills itselfl about using public investment to help improve the lives of ordinary people, it’s especially your responsibility to be good stewards. It’s their job to make public investments are credible and effective.

        Mitch McConnell maybe doesn’t care if public confidence in government plummets due to his earmarking, because at the end of the day he is betting that discredited government will help him win elections and power. But the Danny Inouye’s of the world should have been better reputation managers for public investments, because the promise of public investments is at the heart of Democrats’ public convenant.

  3. Newt says:

    The real problem with earmarks isn’t their face value, it’s the fiscal damage they wreak in deal making, as we saw in the Obamacare “Louisiana Purchase,” and Harry Reid’s bribe exempting Nebraska from paying for Medicaid, or Alaska’s bridge to nowhere. Earmarks are carrots traded for unpopular and disastrous legislation.

    There’s an added perversion: Earmarks give incumbents a hugely unfair advantage.

  4. john sherman says:

    I’m not opposed to the notion that a member of congress might have a better grasp of what projects would help his or her district than somebody in an office in D.C., but when a representative from Alaska earmarks a project for a Florida district which benefits some of his campaign contributors, that’s evil.

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