With all of the noise about the bloated spending bill, especially from the “conservative” GOP, I was curious about exactly who was asking for all that money. How to find out? Google of course. A quick search using Republicans, earmarks, and spending bill returned quite a few hits. Several of the links are to older stories, or stories about the President signing the bill today.
But there were a few other links that were worth looking at. With the kind of numbers that make most of the GOP look just a bit hypocritical. Along with a few Democrats.
US News & World Report has an opinion piece by John A Farrell that not only names a few Republican Senators willing to take the evil money of earmarks, it points out another point of view. Maybe that money in some of these earmarks is being used to do things like keep jobs going? Or helping with education?
Newsday.com has an article arguing exactly that. Well the politicians in the article are arguing it anyway. The story focuses on just how some of the money is being allocated in Long Island, by members of both parties. And shows why most members of the public are not that upset by most earmarks. It is the old saw about it being an earmark if it is in your state, pork if it is somewhere else.
Then there is Ron Paul, who votes against appropriation bills. But always has earmarks in them for his district. While Fox is inaccurate about Paul having the most earmarks of any Republican, he is not even number 1 in the House, he does have his name on $73 million worth. He has an interesting argument about them and how they should be used also.
There is an article on Roaring Republican, a conservative blog, that points out the hypocrisy of various Republican Senators with regard to the Omnibus bill. I may not agree with him on politics, but he is doing the right thing about trying to keep his party honest. That is what is really needed for both parties in government.
And while I hate to say it, Fox News actually has a fairly balanced article on their website. They name quite a few senators from both parties that voted for the bill, and the amount of money their states are getting. They seem to be focusing on calling out the Republicans that did so, but they also mention a few Democrats. And they point out some of the senators that voted against the bill. Including Bayh of Indiana. They missed the part about him voting against cloture while having almost $15 million in earmarks in it. That should look good in conservative Indiana.
A much more slanted look at the bill is found at Heritage Foundation. Reading that article would easily lead you to believe that the entire bill and all the earmarks are there because of Democrats. On the list of supposedly outrageous earmarks they have picked out, 3 are from Democrats, 3 from Republicans, and 1 with bi-partisan support. The Foundation is a conservative organization, so it is understandable for them to rail against government spending (I am going to refrain from searching to see what they thought about the first 6 years of the Bush administration. I want to get this finished.) but their failure to point out it is a bi-partisan practice is a bit prejudicial.
The Taxpayers for Common Sense do more than just complain about what Congress does. They provide a nice database with all the information about the earmarks in the Omnibus bill. If you really want to know who is spending what money in the bill, this is the place to find it. The only problem with it is the lack of party affiliation of the various Senators and Representatives in the database. Wikipedia can help with that problem, but it does make finding facts more difficult.
And that is where my rambling took me today. All kinds of interesting things on the web isn’t there.