Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Obama's Spending Bill is Full of Pork

Obama's $410,000,000,000 spending bill going through Congress right now is so full of pork that it is obscene. (For the politically naieve, pork is defined as pet projects, also known as earmarks, attached to a piece of legislation by Senators or Representatives. This practice allows spending without debate, giving the elected official a way of 'bringing home the bacon'. In other words, securing government funding for local projects outside of the normal budget process, without oversight, and without debate.)

Democrats and Republicans are guilty of this. The earmark process has been around for a long time, and is widely seen by our elected representatives as a way to help their local consitituents get federal money. Most reps take advantage of this, and some of the earmarks make perfect sense. Other reps abuse the process in order to buy votes at home.

In this time of financial crisis, you would think that Congress and the President would hold off on earmarks. Quite the opposite - Obama's budget has more pork projects in it than any other budget in history. There are 8570 disclosed earmarks in the bill, costing the taxpayer $7,700,000,000 dollars. There is another set of undisclosed earmarks in the bill, though the number and amount is hard to define, since the reps have carefully hidden them in language that is difficult to interpret.

Obama, during his campaign, said that earmarks had to be reformed, and that he would not allow the process to continue to bleed the taxpayer. However, the Democrat Congressional leadership has laid down the law to him, and he has backed off. He will do nothing to block earmarks in this spending bill - his staff is stating that it is left over pork from the Bush Administration, and he is not responsible for cleaning it up. Bullshit! Another blocking force is a few Republicans who misuse the earmark process. They've told Obama if he lays off the earmarks, he can expect their cooperation passing legislation through Congress.

Here is a list, composed by Taxpayers for Common Sense, of the 20 biggest offenders of the earmark process in the US Senate, along with the amount of money they are personally responsible for wasting in this spending bill:

1) Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. -- $122,804,900
2) Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. -- $114,484,250
3) Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo. -- $85,691,491
4) Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. -- $76,899,425
5) Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. -- $75,908,475
6) Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska -- $74,000,750
7) Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa -- $66,860,000
8) Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. -- $53,133,500
9) Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. -- $51,186,000
10) Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii -- $46,380,205
11) Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. -- $39,228,250
12) Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. -- $36,547,100
13) Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt. -- $36,161,125
14) Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. -- $35,577,250
15) Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. -- $27,169,750
16) Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. -- $26,628,613
17) Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. -- $25,320,000
18) Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis. -- $23,832,000
19) Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. -- $21,952,250
20) Former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. -- $19,588,625

And this doesn't even touch the immense figures coming from the House of Representatives.

Among the ridiculous things they are wasting your money on:

$713,625 Woody Biomass. Walsh and Schumer sponsors
$951,500 Sustainable Las Vegas. Berkeley and Reid sponsors.
$24,000 A+ for Abstinence. Specter is sponsor.
$300,000 Montana World Trade Center. Rehberg sponsor.
$950,000 Myrtle Beach International Trade and Convention Center. Graham sponsor.
$200,000 Oil Region Alliance. Peterson sponsor.
$190,000 Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY for digitizing the Cody collection. Barbara Cubin is the sponsor
$143,000 Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Las Vegas, NV, to expand natural history education. Sponsored by Harry Reid
$238,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society, HI, for educational programs. Sen. Daniel Inouye is the sponsor.
$381,000 for Jazz at Lincoln Center, NY for music education. Jerrold Nadler is the sponsor.

These people are stealing your money, and throwing it away on crap like this. They aren't even trying to hide it. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, has been so blatant as to say that the American people don't care about earmarks.

Congress tries to demonize Wall St. and corporate America, for being greedy and making money off the American worker. What hypocrites! Congress, run by Democrats, are the biggest thieves the world has ever known!

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