RPVNetwork

Grassroots Network of the Republican Party of Virginia

Submit your Pork-Barrel Suggestions Here!

The Select Committee on Earmark Reform will be supported by a website, located at http://earmarkreform.house.gov, allowing citizens to submit comments and suggestions for reforming the earmark process in Congress.

Backgroud:
This effort was started by House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA):

"The creation of this Earmark Commission reflects the desire of our Conference to begin the 111th Congress with a heavy emphasis on reform," said Cantor. "Reform is an ongoing process. The status quo is simply not acceptable. It's now or never to start to make Washington work again for the hard working American families, and this Commission is a step forward into the right direction."

http://cantor.house.gov/111908a.htm

The Select Committee on Earmark Reform website with the stated purpose:

"The spending habits of Congress – and pork-barrel earmarks in particular – have become a clear symbol of a broken Washington. With that in mind, House Republicans have created a select committee on earmarks to bring change and transparency to the process by which Washington spends taxpayers’ money."

Committee is to report back its recommendations no later than February 16, 2009.

http://earmarkreform.house.gov/

Want to learn more about earmarks?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earmark_(politics)

Who are these pork-barrel spenders?
http://www.cagw.org/

Views: 12

Comment

You need to be a member of RPVNetwork to add comments!

Join RPVNetwork

Comment by Mark Collins on January 5, 2009 at 1:51pm
There's a consequence to earmarks that it does not see you have addressed here and that is the inherent corruption bought with earmark spending. Company X wants a contract to build project Q. Company X holds a large dinner and collects tens of thousands of dollars for Senator Y's election fund. Senator Y pushes project Q through for company X who then sponsors advertising for Senator Y on the basis that he/she brought jobs, money and a beautiful new Dog Hair Museum to the state capital. Senator Y gets re-elected and his brother gets a high paying job at company X who is now looking to land the contract on project Z.....and away we go.

Term limits would help. Reforming rules in the Senate could cure the problem. Each and every expendature should be judged on its own merits and every piece of legislation should refer to the Article of the constitution under which it is drawn.
Comment by George Daily on December 28, 2008 at 1:51pm
"Speaking of that...what's your opinion on term limints? I have often thought that term limits might help fix Wasington, but the other part of me thinks like our elected officials would simply be more corrupt then they already are today."

I think the popularity of Term Limits crested some time ago and doesn't have much of a future. The only problem I have with Term Limits is that they require a Constitutional Amendment and that process could open up a can of worms. As insane as things are, who knows what mischief might be done? If passed, I think Term Limits might be helpful. The Line Item Veto might be more valuable. In the final analysis, I believe there is no silver bullet as long as there is no constraint on taxing and spending.

And my concern is not just economic. Ultimately, its a question of Liberty. The more money we have the more liberty we have. The more money government has the more it will limit our liberty. The only way to tame the beast is to starve it.

Best to you.
Comment by Will on December 28, 2008 at 1:03am
"We could eliminate it as easily as "reform" it if there was the political will to do so"

I agree with you completely. We could eliminate it if the political will existed to do such a thing, but since there is not the political will do to it, nor will there probably ever be the will to do it, then my point was simply that it would be nice to know the money goes to things that are not "wastes of money". As I mentioned before, I can't tell you want is a "good" waste of money, but it seems like the political will might be a little more towards some type of reform...then elimination (probably not). Do I agree with it, no, but I would rather see something done to at least decrease the amount of pork barrel spending that is going on today. It's not exactly the answer that either of us wants to see, but it's an answer that might be more feasible to those multi-year senators that have homesteaded in Congress.

Speaking of that...what's your opinion on term limints? I have often thought that term limits might help fix Wasington, but the other part of me thinks like our elected officials would simply be more corrupt then they already are today.

Just figured I would get someone elses take on it. take care
Comment by George Daily on December 27, 2008 at 7:48pm
"You are making it sound like I agree with funding any of these projects. I don't agree with taking federal tax dollars to fund any state project, period, but I am also a realist."

Ok.

"Examples of pork barrel politics go back as far as 1817. How do you propose they eliminate that type of spending overnight? My point is that if we can't eliminate it, then we should at least formulate some type of plan to reform it."

We could eliminate it as easily as "reform" it if there was the political will to do so.

I am not opposed to "reform" or incrementalism, necessarily. I am saying that by its nature the process is corrupt and cannot be reformed. A change in process is not a reform if the fundamental corruption remains. Perhaps I'm wrong and there is some "reform". If so, I'm not aware of it. So, I must take a position in opposition to all earmarks and grants. Otherwise, as I see it,I would be endorsing a fraud.
Comment by Will on December 27, 2008 at 1:59pm
I understand your point and I sympathize with your delema. You want two mutually exclusive things. That is you want to assure that projects you deem worthy are funded by the Federal Government and projects you deem unworthy are not. Aside from the fact that it is not the function of the Federal Government to fund any of these projects, such a scheme cannot possibly succeed because its governed by politics. Everyone believes their pork is worthy.

You are making it sound like I agree with funding any of these projects. I don't agree with taking federal tax dollars to fund any state project, period, but I am also a realist. Examples of pork barrel politics go back as far as 1817. How do you propose they eliminate that type of spending overnight? My point is that if we can't eliminate it, then we should at least formulate some type of plan to reform it.

I couldn't tell you what constitutes good pork, or if there is such a thing. I also see your point about Phoenix having the means themselves to pay for assault rifles by raising taxes for example, but higher taxes generally don't make voters happy, which means you don't get re-elected. You can also get the money through spending cuts, but then again, you generally are going to lose votes for the wrong cuts. It's crumby deal, and I wish we could eliminate it altogether, but this type of spending has become so ingrained in our political machine that I find it hard to believe we can simply eliminate it at the snap of a finger. That is why I say we should try and find a way to reform it. Ultimately I would love it if we could eliminate it

I appreciate your passion about this issue, and I completely agree with the logic.
Comment by Brian R Gentry on December 26, 2008 at 12:51pm
Rallying folks behind slashing "earmarks" is a straw-man argument designed to get people's attention away from the real issue -- the appropriation's bills.

Adding earmarks to bills doesn't increase the amount of federal spending by one single cent. The money has already been appropriated, and earmarks just direct that money. Therefore, if you abolish every single earmark you don't necessarily decrease government spending. All it would do is just allow bureaucrats, instead of elected officials, to direct the funds already agreed upon before earmark debates begin.

So if a politician is serious about cutting spending and cutting the size of government, they should start talking about cutting the massive appropriations bills used to fund our welfare/warfare state.

And just from a quick look back over the years at Cantor and Boehner's voting record on appropriations' bill, it's clear that they're not serious about cutting the size of government, but are instead just duping more conservatives by beating the earmark straw man to death.

I say it's time we conservatives get serious about slashing the leviathan.
Comment by George Daily on December 25, 2008 at 7:31am
"...but I for one am not willing to let officers go out and be out gunned by thugs in the street because the state governments did not act appropriately."

You're setting up false choices. As I wrote earlier, the people of Phoenix, if they want to re-arm their police, can do so anytime they like. Phoenix is not without resources and the people of Phoenix are not without options. Phoenix is not a Third World country. The fact that you wish police in Phoenix to have assault rifles does not create in me an obligation to pay for your desire, no matter how noble your cause.

"...my point is that if earmarks are going to come, which we know they are, then I would much rather know my money is going to better projects like arming police, and not paying for bs pet projects."

I understand your point and I sympathize with your delema. You want two mutually exclusive things. That is you want to assure that projects you deem worthy are funded by the Federal Government and projects you deem unworthy are not. Aside from the fact that it is not the function of the Federal Government to fund any of these projects, such a scheme cannot possibly succeed because its governed by politics. Everyone believes their pork is worthy.

"I don't agree with earmarks, but they are not going away any time soon, so my proposition would be that we need to have major earmark reform to eliminate only those projects that are seriously needed."

I know what you meant. I am sorry, but there is no objective standard by which "need" can be measured. Everyone has needs and their need is seen by them to be a greater need than yours. Ted Stevens believed his bridge was so important that he threatened to resign from the Senate if it wasn't funded. Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer believe New York needs a "Woodstock Museum". Why is Ted's bridge more or less worthy than Chuck & HIllary's museum to me or you? Who is to decide and on what basis?

You seem like a good guy, Will. A solid citizen with good intentions. But, in my opinion, your position on this issue is a rejection of principles for the sake of expediency. And, in my opinion, that's why Republicans keep losing elections.

If McCain said one thing I agree with it was, "Republicans came to change Washington and Washington changed us." The idea tht Republican pork is good pork and Democrat pork is bad pork does not fly. Voters look a the party that claims fiscal responsibility and sees massive deficits, waste, fraud, abuse and corruption.

Earmarks and especially grants are uncontrolled and uncontrollable.
Comment by Will on December 24, 2008 at 5:17pm
George,

I can certainly appreciate where your coming from. State governments should be taking care of business, and not requiring us to shell out federal tax dollars for state police departments, but I for one am not willing to let officers go out and be out gunned by thugs in the street because the state governments did not act appropriately.

Your absolutely right that it is the fault of the people of that particular state for electing these officials, and then re-electing the Governor for a second term, but my point is that if earmarks are going to come, which we know they are, then I would much rather know my money is going to better projects like arming police, and not paying for bs pet projects.

I don't agree with earmarks, but they are not going away any time soon, so my proposition would be that we need to have major earmark reform to eliminate only those projects that are seriously needed. The states would also be required to show the Fed why they can't meet their objectives before any money would be earmarked for that state.
Comment by George Daily on December 24, 2008 at 8:35am
BowlMeOverVa:
The TARP legislation is a good and recent example of some of the mischief of earmarks. It brings to mind the first TARP bill that contained an earmark awarding the first $14 billion in revenue from TARP to ACORN. This earmark would have been "off budget".

I am in favor of "up armor vehicle kits" for our men in Iraq. But, I don't accept the premise that in order to get them I must accept a corrupt appropriations system.

Will:
Yes, the people of the State of Arizona and the City of Phoenix should suffer for electing ineffective public officials. That's how the people will learn not to do it again. It certainly is not the responsibility of the people of Virginia to pay for the mistakes of the people of Phoenix, is it?

Let me cite another scenario. George Bush favored "faith based initiatives." The theory being that the Federal Government should subsidize through Federal Grants effective programs sponsored by "faith based" organizations. This may be well and good and many will applaud. Will the same people find these grants worthy when they go to the Reverend Wright or Father Flager in Chicago? The idea is fatally flawed from the outset as there is no provision in the Constitution mandating Federal support for charities.

These questions go to the heart of what it means to be a Republican. I am not here because of what the Republican Party has been or is. I am here because of what the Republican Party can become. Whether I remain a Republican depends on whether or not the Republican Party becomes a party of principles grounded in the Constitution and in support of "Classic Liberalism" (individual sovereignty). It is the principles of "Classic Liberalism" that modern conservativism was created to conserve. With respect, I suggest that far too much of the conversation and debate in the Republican Party seems to center around how to become better Democrats under the Republican label.

I will go to the Earmark Reform site and express my opinion, Thanks for posting the link.
Comment by BowlMeOverVa on December 23, 2008 at 11:08pm
George and Will great comments,
I hope you submit your comments to the Earmark Reform website as these are the type of citizens perspectives that I hope they are looking for.

I am probably undecided at this point whether earmarks are necessary or not and wish to focus on another aspect noted below.

Using the TARP legislation as an example:

Here is a list of TARP earmarks for reference: wooden arrows, Seven-year cost
recovery period for a car race track, Increase in limit on cover over of rum excise tax to
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Incentives for films to be shot in the United States,
including those for adults, Bicycle commuter benefits that allow employers to pay for
employee bike repair, Duty suspension on wool products and wool research fund and
wool duty refunds, Changes in bonus depreciation for biomass ethanol plant property.

http://troubled-asset-relief-program.net/bailout-pork/

I am more concerned about how these earmarks never got vetted in a public forum. Our elected officials looked like fools after that TARP vote and this really discourages citizens and voters from engaging (even in a curious manner) in the budget process. If citizens can't see a logical and progressive path to the outcome of the legislation they will stray away from it. Citizens will not engage in ownership or discussion of such matters because there is no logical answer why most of these are in the TARP bill. IMHO this is really where my earmarks reform comments will be focused, public vetting and enough disclosure that allows citizens to follow and understand the budgetary decisions and process results.

When our legislators draft one thing but pass something else which appears to have been done "behind the curtain", its no wonder that the citizens feel disgusted and detached from their elected officials, their government and Their Money.

Hopefully this makes sense but this is a good start for my inputs.

FYI - I probably lean on the earmarks are necessary side for similar reasons as Will (up-armor vehicle kits in Iraq come to mind).

****************************

 

U.S. DEBT CLOCK

****************************

 


 

 

(sales help fund this site)

 

Badge

Loading…

© 2021   Created by Tom Whitmore.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service