Friday, July 21, 2006

Porkbuster - Stem-cell veto

Red State says that the Stem-cell research bill President Bush signed was pork. I agree. I was offline, so I didn't follow this. But if this research makes as much sense as the sponsors claim, then for-profit pharmaceuticals would be pouring millions into it. ------ Senator Tom Coburn wants to enable you and me to view federal spending online, where it is accessible to everyone. Mark Tapscott reports at Tapscott's Copy Desk, quoting Coburn's letter seeking cosponsors.
This bill would create a single, searchable website with access to virtually all government spending - a publicly-accessible online tool for all Americans to find out how their tax money is spent. As Thomas Jefferson wrote back in 1802, "We might hope to see the finances of the Union as clear and intelligible as a merchant’s books, so that every member of Congress and every man of any mind in the Union should be able to comprehend them, to investigate abuses, and consequently to control them." According to government statistics, the federal government spends approximately $1 trillion each year on various grants, procurement contracts, and loans. However, there is currently no single searchable website or resource that provides access to information about each transaction. American taxpayers deserve better. As various investigations into the federal response to Hurricane Katrina have shown, a lack of accountability and transparency in federal spending can lead to massive waste, fraud, and abuse. Every dollar that is wasted is a dollar that is unavailable to support our troops and veterans, improve America's global competitiveness, or reduce tax burdens and the federal deficit. Greater transparency and accountability can directly reduce waste, fraud, and abuse, while also enabling us to improve the quality and efficiency of government services and to help those who depend on us.
Update: Senator Obama, the Democrats' hope for the future, is lead cosponsor with Coburn. Tapscott also points to Mary Katherine Ham's article in Washington Examiner on the need to control pork.
On one hand, Porkbusters can highlight the ridiculousness of spending federal money on municipal pool maintenance. On the other, the pork-passive can ask, “Why are we talking about municipal pool maintenance when there are so many more important things going on?” The quick answer is, “No, why are we funding municipal pool maintenance when there are so many more important things going on?” But there are several problems with this argument. One is that it assumes that the American public and Congress can properly talk about the war on terror and other important issues only at the exclusion of all others. This is not the case and can never be the case. In large part because Congress’ power has extended to cover municipal swimming pool maintenance, Capitol Hill is always juggling a thousand issues at a time, debating 67 amendments on the floor, pushing a handful of bills through committee in any given week....
Read it.

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