many earmarks in the 2009 omnibus spending bill

26 02 2009

Today I’ve been hearing about a lot of pork / earmarks in the $410 billion Obnibus Appropriations Act of 2009.  I don’t know much about that, but I know that it involves a LOT of spending.  I think this is Congress’ budget appropriations for this fiscal year, through September.  I read that no Republicans were involved in the drafting of the bill, and there was only one hour of general debate.  Less than 36 hours after the bill was released, it was voted on and passed, mostly along party lines.  The bill is 1,122 pages, so I have to wonder how many of our representatives actually read through it all before voting.

John McCain claims there are 9,246 pet spending projects (which some call pork).  I looked at a political fact-checking site, and they said that while the number could vary depending on how you define earmarks, McCain’s total was within an acceptable range.  I don’t know how accurate the actual number is, but I glanced at the bill, and there’s more stuff on there than I’d want to read.  There’s definitely some pet projects, though.

There are funds going everywhere.  Just a few examples: $300,000 to a Montana World Trade Center, $200,000 to an Oil Region Alliance, $190,000 to a Buffalo Bill Historical Center, $238,000 to a Polynesian Voyaging Society, $300,000 for a science camp curriculum, $200,000 for a Tattoo Removal Violence Prevention Outreach Program, $100,000 to the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation, $295,000 to Florida Marine Sportfish Replenishment, and the list goes on and on and on.  Click here for more info and sources on these examples.  If you want to see a version of the actual bill, click here.  (But know it’s a 12MB PDF file.)

As you may recall (or may not want to recall, depending on who you voted for), Barack Obama said back in September 2008, “We need earmark reform; And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”  I wonder if he will even read all of this bill.  He should, if he’s going to put his name on it and have it as part of his legacy.

Pelosi and the people drafting these bills sure don’t appear to be taking much precaution about the mountain of debt our government is in.  They’re spending money like a kid in a candy store with his parents’ credit card — no concept of how much you should spend.  Somebody needs to tell them that there is a credit limit, even for our country, and if we hit that, the economy could truly collapse, and there’s a chance America could go bankrupt when our debtors call for payment.  Don’t think it can’t happen

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One response

26 02 2009
Thomas Wayne

Nancy Pelosi released a statement saying this bill was leftover from the Bush Administration, that now that it’s out of the way, they can focus on the real challenging issues our nation faces. But, ironically (and hypocritically), the current Democrats in Congress just wrote this bill and voted on it and passed it. Yet SOMEHOW it was still Bush’s fault. How long are they going to play that card?

Also, I’d like to point your attention to a comment written on another blog about this, which points out how Obama must be living in a different reality, because he’s for fiscal responsibility and no earmarks, yet is passing insane amounts of wasteful spending. It just doesn’t compute. Here’s the link.

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