Is it Time to Bring Back Earmarks?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Seawytch, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Seawytch
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    Seawytch Information isnt Advocacy

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    The author of this article seems to think so...and he's got some good points.

    Why Congress Cannot Operate Without The Bribing Power Of Earmarks

    It seemed like a great victory at the time.

    After years of federal taxpayer dollars being misappropriated to pay for pet projects in the districts of congressmen and senators looking to curry political favor with the voters back home, a moratorium was passed in 2011 ending the Congressional pork parade known as “earmarking”.

    It appeared to make sense. Federal taxpayers had grown sick and tired of paying the bill for something like the construction and renovation of a botanical garden project in Brooklyn, New York when such a project, obviously, had nothing to do with core federal objectives, serving only to improve the re-election prospects of the Congresswoman who brought the money home to Brooklyn—along with the few Americans who spend their Saturday’s enjoying a picnic in the greatly improved botanical gardens at your expense and mine.[...]

    But what actually happened?

    For starters, if you believe we have done away with the concept of earmarking money for special projects back home—thing again. The earmark moratorium has brought forward an even more insidious process called “lettermarking” where Congressional slush funds are created as tools for funding pet projects without even the limited accountability and public information that came with earmarking. While earmarks required publication of a pork project—along with the amount of taxpayer money being spent and identification of the elected official proposing the earmark—lettermarking allows for such expenditures without any identification of the project, sum and sponsoring legislator whatsoever.

    Additionally, we now find that when an elected official is unsuccessful in convincing an agency of the executive branch to contribute money to a pet project, that official often turns to blackmailing the agency involved by threatening to cast a vote to deny some Administration objective. This is precisely what occurred when Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threatened to block Obama administration appointments unless money was provided for a harbor dredging project in his home state.

    But something even more insidious has followed the ban on earmarking—

    Without the persuasive powers of the political ‘carrot’, congressional leaders and the President no longer have the ‘stick’ required to move Congress to get anything of significance accomplished.


    We have seen an unprecedented inability to get anything done by our legislators. The last Congress was the most "do nothing" in history. Could the ban on earmarks have been a contributing factor?
     
  2. beretta304
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    On a sdienote, not sure if it's new but your avatar is spot-on.
     
  3. Seawytch
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    Seawytch Information isnt Advocacy

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    Thank you.

    And kind of on topic for this thread. It used to be our legislators could be "bought off" with stuff for their districts, but since earmarks have gone away, they are only bought by corporate sponsorship. Fuck the voters.
     
  4. beretta304
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    You're welcome. Hate to be doom and gloom but even though all this will pass, I think America's best days are well behind her.

    We raised a generation of "give-mes". Now they are grown..and they're giving it to all of us....if you get my drift.

    We failed to instill in them one of the most inportant qualities one can possess...common sense.

    Just wait until the tab really comes due.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  5. Seawytch
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    Seawytch Information isnt Advocacy

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    Then don't because they aren't. We are still the wealthiest nation on the planet. We can still blow the whole entire planet up a couple of times. We've been through worse.
     
  6. beretta304
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    It's like being "boss over no one...one is still boss. :cool:


    I think it goes beyond just this cycle. The "next/current" generation has no appreciation of the cost of things. I don't just mean in dollars and cents either.
     
  7. Seawytch
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    Seawytch Information isnt Advocacy

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    The more things change the more they stay the same. You're just getting old Beretta. The older generation has ALWAYS said that the younger generation "just doesn't understand"...and yet we end up being just fine.

    You're being hyperbolic.
     
  8. Old Rocks
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    The only way that the best days of this nation will be past is if we fail to educate our young, and take care of the wonders of this nation. Will we again see the days of leadership that we saw after WW2? No, I hope not. That was because the rest of the world was rubble from the war. A leader among many prosperous nations is a far better role.
     
  9. beretta304
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    Guess who is educating them? Hint: Teachers isn't the answer. It's partially why we are where we are with a severely divided nation.
     

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