Saturday, July 15, 2006

Spending your money to elect themselves

Congress is in full porker mode. The Republicans excel at pork appropriations that have no sponsor. There is no one to blame for raiding our tax dollars. But when it passes the Congressman whose district benefits will brag that he/she fought for his reelection, I mean, for the voters he is devoted to. One appropriations bill for labor, health and human services (HHS) has 1700 earmarks. There will others Rep. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, wants to help us! He is threatening to offer amendments strike each of the 1700 earmarks that doesn't have a sponsor identified. Good for him. The Hill reports on a bold Congressman who defends spending tax dollars to benefit himself:
The district-specific projects, totaling about half a billion dollars, are tied to a Democratic minimum-wage increase that is anathema to the GOP, and no proposed solution has taken root. Few lawmakers publicly concede the importance of earmarks to their own campaigns, but several acknowledge the benefit of voting to bring federal money home before the midterms. “I think it’s helpful on the campaign trail,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), whose projects include $600,000 for the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. “It’s important, particularly for members in tight races.”
The politics are thick here, with an increase in the minimum wage involved. Anyone who has studied the effects of the minimum wage knows that it takes jobs away from entry-level workers. Hopefully this mess won't pass before the election in November. It is for the budget year that starts on October 1. So our elected representatives will sit on it until two months after it is due. Tip: Instapundit

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