Tweaking the Pork Position: Aged is Fine, Fresh is Bad
As Congress successfully fends off attempts to reduce the considerable pork in an omnibus spending bill, President Obama has indicated that he will not veto the bill. Defending an apparent flip-flop on a campaign promise,
The White House says this bill is just last year’s unfinished business — and next time, it will be different.
“We’ll change the rules going forward,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday when asked about the legislation.
For the record, Senator John McCain lists… make that, tweets the “Top 10 Porkiest Projects” in the bill.
And Conn Carroll over at the Foundry points out that the costly aspect of pork is not so much its own price tag but what it buys.
The problem with earmarks is not $16 million for water-taxis and manure management. All 9,287 earmarks in the omnibus bill come to a total of $12.8 billion, or 3% of the total package. The problem with earmarks is the other spending that 3% buys. As data from the Office of Management and Budget shows, the rise in the number of earmarks tracks closely with the rise in overall spending by the federal government. Sen. Jim DeMint explained the link to Politico last year: “I talked to colleagues who would say, ‘DeMint, I gotta vote for this bill because it has my project in it,’ even though the bill was way over budget.” The evil of earmarks goes far beyond their nominal price tag. The real damage they do to our country is the votes they buy for ever higher levels of spending.
Flipping that around, every serving of pork, earmarked as much for a reelection campaign as for a specific district, comes with a three thousand percent surcharge. On the bright side, it all ends next year …