Monday, March 02, 2009

Congressional Earmarkers: Champions or Chumps?

Fiscal hypocrisy, by any other name, is known as an earmark in Washington D.C. Consider this dilemma: Republicans, to a man (or woman) have officially disdained the ways and means by which the Obamalites are funding tax cuts for the middle class and bailouts for the banks. Yet, those same men and women, except for two members of the Texas Congressional Delegation, have ponied up $318-billion in earmarks for Federal Money to be spent in Lone Star districts.

It’s a strange situation where principal and practice are competing on opposing ends of a political balance beam.

Here’s the real-life corollary to the age-old question, “if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one around, does it make a sound:”
If Congress allocates funding for projects intended to stimulate the economy, and your Congressperson doesn’t pursue those funds for your district, is he or she really doing the job you sent them to Congress to perform?

At what point do all members of Congress turn off the spigots and say “enough” to spending more money than the government takes in?

One Texas congressman who has drawn his own line in the sand is 10th District Rep. Michael McCaul, who was quoted over the weekend as saying the earmark system "is susceptible to waste, fraud, and abuse," and as such he did not seek any earmarks for his district. The unfortunate, alternative reality of that position is that McCaul’s constituents will still be shouldering their share of paying back the dollars Congress will authorize to be spent other districts…and in other states.

Which makes you wonder if McCaul is a champion of the people for taking that stand, or a chump for not claiming for his constituents access to money we’ll all be paying back, along with our children and grandchildren.

I’m just sayin’…

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