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Monday, March 10, 2008

I Thought They Fixed This

I was kind of surprised tonight to read that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had committed to a 1 year moratorium on earmarks. Earmarks are those little riders stuck in bills to get some federal money sent to your state or district.

Now someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Democrats who took over Congress in January last year promise to fix this then? What happened? Oh yeah, they took control of the purse, and like the GOP before them, who took power wanting to curb spending found out how easy that credit card is to use when you don't pay the bill.

According to the Associated Press, Clinton worked through $342 MILLION and Obama was responsible for $100 MILLION dollars in earmarks in the fiscal year 2008 budget out of a total of $15 Billion. That puts Obama's earmark haul at nearly 4 times the congressional average, and Clinton at 12 times the average. Clinton's total haul in 2002-2006, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense was $2.2 BILLION!

I'd tell you how much Obama earmarked in 2005 and 2006, but he hasn't ever released the records of it. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times wrote about his lack of cooperation on this and other fronts a few weeks ago.

To have them both come out now, and claim that earmarks are bad only proves how stupid the average voter is. They'll buy it hook line and sinker that the two of them are somehow above them, and suddenly want to curb waste.

GOP Candidate John McCain didn't really have to commit to it, he claims to have "never" asked for an earmark. Some folks on the left point to two items, one in 2003 and one in 2006 they considered earmarks. Total, $24 million. Let's face it, if $24 million in 24 years in Congress is all he's ever earmarked, he's a rank amateur. He should take lessons from the Democratic candidates for President to find out how to really spend our money.

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