By Rod Thomson
Earmarks are back! And now, the unaccountable chicanery at taxpayer expense is a good thing, according to the unaccountable media. We shouldn’t be surprised. Clearly Washington has the financial responsibility of a 16-year-old with an unlimited credit card from a magic wizard.
Earmarks were those highly unpopular Congressional expenditures where any member of Congress could and did insert their pet spending projects in giant spending bills that no one read. No accountability. It’s how we got the famed “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska.
There had been bipartisan abuse of them running up the taxpayer tab without any real representation for years. Eventually, the American people were disgusted. Media coverage was appropriately savage as it highlighted absurd expenditure after absurd expenditure.
That was then. This is now. In reading a Miami Herald story on how their local members of Congress are playing a role in the return of earmarks, this lead tells a giant story of how far the media partisanship has gone, and the willingness to rewrite history. Journalism today is just cancerously bad.
“Over the last decade, members of Congress have been unable to request federal funds for specific projects in their districts after Republicans banned the practice at the height of the Tea Party wave to curb what conservatives called wasteful spending.
“But now the requests, called earmarks, are back. And two South Florida lawmakers will play an important role in the process, which is competitive. Not every lawmaker will get what they want.”
Virtually everything in that is wrong. “Unable to request” is 100 percent false. Members have continued to request funds for projects in their district. They just had to do it in the light where the public and voters could see it.
Of course then they tied it to the Tea Party, which the Democrat operative media rank as second to Trump as a negative connection point. But it was bipartisan. The Tea Party merely channeled the anger with it.
What “conservatives called wasteful spending”? They should have done a google search. Reuters reported: “Soon after House Republicans banned the practice in 2011, the Democratic-led Senate followed suit at the urging of Democratic President Barack Obama. Earmarks have been gone since.”
It was bipartisan because it was obvious that the American people despised it. The Miami Herald’s knee-jerk operatives however, spin it as a Tea Party and conservative move. Doubt that’s what President Obama and the Democrat-run Senate was thinking.
However, what is more alarming than the deceitful media is that the return of the earmarks is a bi-partisan decision to restore. All Democrats wanted the unaccountable pet spending back. And a small majority of Republicans also voted in favor.
To me, all this just says that other than a minority of Republicans, Washington D.C. has totally given up on any sense of controlled spending. Trillions for this Covid bailout, trillions for that one. Trillions more to remake healthcare, trillions more for the new green deal. Hanging on to the earmark ban is just cute at this point.
Does anyone really have any idea what our leaders in D.C. think this end game of infinite spending is? Perhaps enough Americans are getting “free money” that the self-consumed political class doesn’t care.
We used to want to leave the country better off for the next generation than we found it. Along with many other grand ideas, that one appears to be dead.
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