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Fri, Mar. 14th, 2008, 10:16 am
Earmarks

I found out that both of our senators voted against the 1 year ban on earmarks. I sent them both emails to show that I do not support their decision. Although Kerry's website crashed on me, so I don't know if they got the message.

Fri, Mar. 14th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
lil_cherub

Did they say why they were voting against it.... other then the obvious 'so they can continue to sneak in interest groups and obscure measures'.

Fri, Mar. 14th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
lawful_evil

They claimed it was a valuable tool to get government action on important issues that would otherwise have been overlooked.

That is the whole point of the argument against it too. We WANT those issues to be overlooked. I'm tired of building statues to Vulcan (god of fire/steel/the forge). There is a quite spectacular 56' tall one near Birmingham.

Aside from separation of church and state issues, I just think that is a stupid waste of planetary resources(not to mention my tax dollars).

Just about every article I can find online about it has quotes from a variety of senators. ie

"It doesn’t do anything for fiscal discipline," said Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who serves on the Appropriations Committee. "It’s a phantom idea. It’s one of those feel-good amendments that makes us feel like we’re doing the Lord’s work."

Large-state senators such as Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is an appropriator, say that their states pay more in taxes than they get back, forcing them to resort to earmarks to make sure they get a fair shake.

Small-state senators such as Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) say their states’ projects would never get funded if agency bureaucrats based in Washington, rather than members of Congress, made the line-item decisions.

"It’s silly," said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), "I’m proud of every earmark I’ve had."

Fri, Mar. 14th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
lil_cherub

Great, we have little states saying 'don't forget about me' and the big states saying 'hey, we put more in, we want more out'.

European Union, and its a sad day when we compare ourselves to them, have every country pay in dues and they decide who gets what. Ireland, being new the the union w/ a weak economy, is benefiting from the union, getting more funding and its improving. In a few years they will be putting in more and getting less because they will be stable.

That should be the idea in the United States. How the country should spend money. Which logically should go to natural disasters(hurricans, wild fires, floods), towards the armed forces, other federal issues etc etc.

Earmarking is just pulling money back to the states instead of for national
policies. All special interest nonsense.

Fri, Mar. 14th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
lawful_evil

Oh, don't get me started on Natural Disasters. In the NE, we have to pay extra to handle all the snow and such that we get, but we don't really get anything like tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. We end up paying for our problems and everyone elses.

I don't think the Feds should be involved in disaster relief, except in actual extreme circumstances(once every 200 years per state). CA, FL, etc seem to have a disaster every year or every couple months. That isn't a disaster, its NORMAL.

Living in places that have disasters should be expensive, very expensive. Insurance and taxes should be really unreasonable, thus discouraging people from living in areas where 'disasters happens'. But no, the rest of the country subsidizes all this dangerous behaviour. We are totally off track with our 'development planning' of this country.

...

Anyway.. yes, I think the federal government tries to do too much. It should really cut itself down and move lots of responsibilities back to the states. The states would have more money(because there would be much less federal taxes) and so the states could deal with state issues without bringing everything up to the feds. The feds should only cover federal issues inter-state, inter-country, inter-planetary, etc. Everything the fed should be working on should benefit everyone and then there wouldn't be all this arguing over a piece of the pie.

My 2 cents....