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Thread: Obama backs pet projects and signs spending bill

  1. #31
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    Re: Obama backs pet projects and signs spending bill

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    How on earth could we ever function without so many earmarks?



    I don't remember Congress working 12 hour days back in 96, and yet they had less than 10% of the number of earmarks we have now. There's absolutely no practical reason why we can't get back to those numbers, at a minimum.
    You didn't get what I was saying. I was talking about voting on each and every earmark like you suggested. I didn't say Congress couldn't function without earmarks. I said they couldn't function if they voted on every single earmark.

    Quote Originally Posted by You said...
    It's not like it's that complex. Just have these things voted on separately. We've done it that way for decades and the world didn't end.
    Are you talking about setting home state earmarks aside from the regular budget? If so I misunderstood you. I could see that as feasible for freeing up the regular budget. However if you are suggesting voting on these projects individually, it simply couldn't be done...even with 950 separate projects. Not intelligently anyway. Individual home state earmarks haven't been voted on separately "for decades." Can you clarify your position please?

    Step 1: Display your displeasure in a slightly more angry tone than this:
    Why get so angry over around 2% of the budget? I'm a bit more concerned, as I said earlier, with the fact that Social Security, Medicare, Defense, and Immigration are in such a mess. I'd really like them to fix those first.

    To someone who isn't aware of your burning desire to fix this problem, that could almost be seen as saying that you're happy with the process.
    I'm gonna guess you didn't catch my sarcasm? I'm going to label myself as a political realist here and ask you why you are so caught up on such a small piece of the problem?
    Last edited by Lerxst; 03-13-09 at 12:29 AM.
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  2. #32
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    Re: Obama backs pet projects and signs spending bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Lerxst View Post
    You didn't get what I was saying. I was talking about voting on each and every earmark like you suggested. I didn't say Congress couldn't function without earmarks. I said they couldn't function if they voted on every single earmark.
    1) I'm not saying they need to vote on each provision individually, I'm saying that earmarks should stand on their own outside of the omnibus budgeting package. If Congress wants to vote on a police projects bill that lumps together 30 projects, I couldn't care less. It's a problem when they're forced to vote yes on the police projects simply because they want to avoid the entire government shutting down because the police projects are tied to the omnibus bill.

    2) In actuality, they could survive just fine while voting on every single earmark individually. In 1980, there was 62 earmarks. There's no appreciable reason why the need for earmarks has increased dramatically since then. I think you'd have to agree that congress could fit 62 extra voice votes in per year.

    Are you talking about setting home state earmarks aside from the regular budget? If so I misunderstood you. I could see that as feasible for freeing up the regular budget. However if you are suggesting voting on these projects individually, it simply couldn't be done...even with 950 separate projects. Not intelligently anyway. Individual home state earmarks haven't been voted on separately "for decades." Can you clarify your position please?
    Didn't read this until I typed out the above. See that.

    Why get so angry over around 2% of the budget? I'm a bit more concerned, as I said earlier, with the fact that Social Security, Medicare, Defense, and Immigration are in such a mess. I'd really like them to fix those first.

    I'm gonna guess you didn't catch my sarcasm? I'm going to label myself as a political realist here and ask you why you are so caught up on such a small piece of the problem?
    This line irritates me, and you hear it more and more now which I think is a shame. $7b/year is a lot of ****ing money. I don't give a **** that it's "only" 2% of the budget. It's $7b that should be spend on the right things, not on whatever a 90 year old Senator unilaterally feels like sending it to without scrutiny.

    Also, you're setting up a false dichotomy - it's not "fix Medicare or fix earmarks." Earmarks could be fixed instantly. If Obama told Congress that he would absolutely not sign a bill that had any earmarks, we'd see a bill without earmarks. The reason he doesn't do it is because he'd pay a political price. Simple enough.

    And let's just be clear - you don't have a problem with earmarking because you profit from it. That's fine, but you have to understand that that colors the way I view your stance on the issue.
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  3. #33
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    Re: Obama backs pet projects and signs spending bill

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    1) I'm not saying they need to vote on each provision individually, I'm saying that earmarks should stand on their own outside of the omnibus budgeting package. If Congress wants to vote on a police projects bill that lumps together 30 projects, I couldn't care less. It's a problem when they're forced to vote yes on the police projects simply because they want to avoid the entire government shutting down because the police projects are tied to the omnibus bill.
    Okay I can agree with this.

    2) In actuality, they could survive just fine while voting on every single earmark individually. In 1980, there was 62 earmarks. There's no appreciable reason why the need for earmarks has increased dramatically since then. I think you'd have to agree that congress could fit 62 extra voice votes in per year.
    Sure, but do you know why there were so few earmarks on many of the past bills? Bundled amendments. Members would offer amendments that bundled 10, 20, 50 project into one amendment. Now they have do 1 project per amendment. That along with earmark certification was part of the "earmark reform" Congress was touting.


    Didn't read this until I typed out the above. See that.


    This line irritates me, and you hear it more and more now which I think is a shame. $7b/year is a lot of ****ing money. I don't give a **** that it's "only" 2% of the budget. It's $7b that should be spend on the right things, not on whatever a 90 year old Senator unilaterally feels like sending it to without scrutiny.
    Well I'm just not as irritated by it because I know that within that 7 billion dollars there are many good projects. "Right things" you might say. It's not 7 billion wasted on meaningless "pet projects."

    Also, you're setting up a false dichotomy - it's not "fix Medicare or fix earmarks." Earmarks could be fixed instantly. If Obama told Congress that he would absolutely not sign a bill that had any earmarks, we'd see a bill without earmarks. The reason he doesn't do it is because he'd pay a political price. Simple enough.
    No I'm not. I'm saying that I see a whole lot of effort on this board and in the media to ramp up the budgetary attack on earmarks, and almost nothing on Social Security, Medicare, Defense, or Immigration. I'm simply not of the opinion that they need to spend 100 days a year in discussions and taking votes on around 2% of the budget. It's a reaction to what I thought your suggestion was about voting on individual home state earmarks.

    I am curious why there is such activity here but nobody is talking about the budgetary impact of the other programs and Congress' poor performance there.

    And let's just be clear - you don't have a problem with earmarking because you profit from it.
    And let's be really clear. I do make a living through it, but not my entire living. And if the program for securing the money for these initiatives changes, so will my business practices. No big deal to me. But I don't share your same level of concern for other reasons as well, you simply don't find my reasons acceptable. You are really fired up, as are some others on here. I wish the best of luck in your endeavors to really, really reform the earmark process. I don't have a problem with the earmark process, I have a problem with those who abuse it and damage the public trust with it by funding worthless projects in return for campaign contributions and votes.

    That's fine, but you have to understand that that colors the way I view your stance on the issue.
    Okay.
    Last edited by Lerxst; 03-13-09 at 11:20 AM.
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