Earmarks are a Democrats best friend

The earmark ban is a pure political play. As we stated before it is just polispeak spin, justifying the votes that elected Republicans en masse in the mid-term elections. The impact of the ban, beyond the symbolism, is marginal at best in regard to the national budget or deficit.

Given that understanding, why would Democrats reject a ban? Why has the White House remained so quiet considering banning earmarks was a key and often spoken campaign promise?

Newly re-elected Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has an answer,

“I believe, personally, we have a constitutional obligation, a responsibility, to do congressionally directed spending. I do not feel comfortable turning that over to the people downtown,” Reid said, referring to federal agencies that would assume the responsibility of designating federal funds in the absence of congressional direction. “So I am not going to back off of bringing stuff back to Nevada.”

Key words – constitutional obligation, comfortable, congressional direction. Why those words? Because in these words we see clearly the motivation of Democrat leadership – which flies in the face of what President Obama and many Democrats campaigned on.

Constitutional obligation. Think about that. Where exactly in the Constitution did the Founding Fathers state, or even imply, that Congress should elect to spend taxpayer money (which did not exist at the time) on pet projects that were for the benefit of supporters and special interest groups?

Comfortable? Exactly where in the job description of elected office is a concern for the comfort of the politician (over the comfort of constituents) to be found? How does the personal feelings of 1 politician usurp the desires of millions of Americans? What comfort are constituents to have knowing that the ease of a politicians agenda is a greater principle touphold than their views (as presented by the results and post-polls of the mid-term elections).

Congressional direction. Leadership of Congress, that has resulted in a Stimulus that failed, a Health Care Refrom that was never wanted and massively desired to be repealed. Leadership that has increased the national debt at the fastest pace ever. Leadership that was so detached from the average American that the mid-term elections were a landslide referendum AWAY from that leadership.

More importantly, lest we forget, President Obama said over and over again that he would end earmarks – with the Democrat Party in full support. So a ban is not something that Democrats oppose, at least in a Presidential election year with their candidate championing the idea.

But the reality has been that with JUST the Stimulus and Health Care Refrom there have been 14,000 earmarks alone. President Obama has dismissed the ban of earmarks 2 weeks after his inaurguration. And the symbolism of banning earmarks is so far removed from Democrat leadership that they must claim a tie to the Constitution.

Is this really what people voted for when they sought to re-elect Democrats (like Senator Reid – definitely when they re-elected Rep. Maurice Hinchey)?

Perhaps the biggest question is, why are Democrats so adamant about keeping earmarks? Who is going to get a benefit? Obviously not the average citizen, nor the economy at large. Earmarks will not lower unemployment. Who benefits?

Special interest groups and supporters. That’s who always benefits from earmarks. Which makes clear exactly who Democrat leadership feels is important. Not the public, but those that Democrats owe for their re-elections.

Earmarks aren’t a big deal, but they highlight the reality. A reality that can’t be changed for another 2 years, and will affect the nation with potential negatives.

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About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

5 Comments on "Earmarks are a Democrats best friend"

  1. Lots of assertions, big on rhetoric, short on facts. I really wish I had the time to rip this apart, because this amount of absurdity cannot go unchallenged.

    Leadership that has increased the national debt at the fastest pace ever.
    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

    I am really sick of people parroting this bullshit as if it actually meant something profound.

    You want a fast pace? Try Reagan.

  2. Republicans are just as at fault on earmarks as are Democrats. But Democrat leadership promoted the end of earmarks as a validation for election in 2008. (John McCain said the same, but he actually did avoid earmark usage) Since being elected over 14,000 earmarks have been allowed with President Obama stating that the law (Stimulus, Health Care Refrom, national budget) was too important to bother wasting time and stripping the earmarks out. That is hypocritical.

    Second, since 2006 the national debt has increased $5.36 trillion dollars. That increase, under the Democrat leadership (Congress and now President Obama), is the fastest growth of debt ever. Regan spent alot – as most Republicans have as well – but the current Democrat leadership has spent more faster than ever.

    Just looking at the Obama Presidency, there has been an immense growth of 30% on national debt, with the White House itself stating that trillion dollar deficits will continue for several more years to come.

  3. John McCain said the same, but he actually did avoid earmark usage

    To anyone living in AZ, this comment is quite a joke. http://thinkprogress.org/2008/01/06/mccain-earmark/

  4. I would take the sparse earmark usage of John McCain over the blatant lie about ending earmarks (or President Obama’s own earmarks as a Senator). But you do make a good point. McCain was not the driven snow he projected.

  5. In terms of your argument, I think the key phrase was “the people downtown”.

    While there’s only an implicit power of the purse in the Constitution, it seems pretty clear that the Founding Fathers were all oppposed to spending being in the hands of the Executive Branch and, by extension, the modern federal agencies that can’t be held accountable by the People. (And while there wasn’t an income tax, there was most certainly “taxpayer money”. It’s one of the main reasons the American Revolution.) I’m not sure how turning over blank checks to federal agencies that are accountable to nobody and over which the People have no power is going to fix the problem of wasteful spending.

    Harry Reid would probably like your article because it steers the focus off the reality of earmarks, which is that they are used all too often to buy votes for non-related bills and that is the main reason that they should be eliminated. The Federal Agencies might not be great but I have more confidence in their misspending of our money than Congress, at this point.

Thank you for lending your voice. We appreciate hearing what you have to say.

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