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Old 11-19-2010, 03:06 AM
 
693 posts, read 950,123 times
Reputation: 419

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I saw this article today, and am interested to see what others think about the "earmarks" issue. As a caveat, from what I have heard about Murkowski I've liked, Miller not so impressed, so I'm not posting this as a means of slamming Murkowski. But definitely interested on the opinions of others regarding the lobbying/earmarks issue.

Now K Street has its own senator: Lisa Murkowski | Washington Examiner (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Now-K-Street-has-its-own-senator_-Lisa-Murkowski-1595843-108748059.html - broken link)
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Homer Alaska
1,052 posts, read 877,156 times
Reputation: 795
In real terms I think the whole earmarks hysteria is equivalent to arguing about the paint color choice on a home while it and the whole community is going up in flames. Polictical posturing and hype is not what we need our elected leaders to be focused on-we need to focus on our economy, jobs and the tragic consequences of our choices.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
3,538 posts, read 4,500,017 times
Reputation: 1792
Quote:
Originally Posted by freezengirl View Post
In real terms I think the whole earmarks hysteria is equivalent to arguing about the paint color choice on a home while it and the whole community is going up in flames. Polictical posturing and hype is not what we need our elected leaders to be focused on-we need to focus on our economy, jobs and the tragic consequences of our choices.
Absolutely true!

If people read what Murkowski had to say about the issue of earmarks they might learn something. It is a non-issue that makes for great press, and does absolutely nothing. Eliminating all earmarks would have almost no effect on the budget, for the simple reason that "earmarks" do not add money to the budget but instead target budgeted moneys at specific projects.

A good example is the now famous "bridge to nowhere". That was in fact a fairly disgusting earmark, but not for any of the reasons most people think. It did not add anything to the Federal budget. It did not bring additional money to Alaska (in fact it could be said to have cost Alaska a significant amount of money). How can all that be?

That earmark overrode the State's priority list for Federal "highway" allocations. Alaska already had the allocation of funds, and the State had a list of projects for which the money was to be spent. The earmark pulled that much money aside and targeted it specifically on the Bridge To Nowhere. The State then had to restructure it's priority list, and needed projects either fell off the bottom or had to be funded with other State moneys. Because the amount of the earmark was significant, it had significant negative effect on the State's highways projects.

And that is generally the way earmarks work. Except generally they are a good thing, where an elected legislator can intervene on the part of constituents and give a priority to their needs.

I would also point out that the same thing happens in other, more specific ways. For example projects funded by the State might have, as a project progresses, changes in circumstances that are best handled by changing the way legislative intent allows the money to be spent. To do that the people administering the project go to their Representative and get a letter describing the variances and authorizing it. More or less a "micro earmark".
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:50 AM
 
Location: 112 Ocean Avenue
5,706 posts, read 4,869,806 times
Reputation: 8669
Quote:
Originally Posted by melbern View Post
I saw this article today, and am interested to see what others think about the "earmarks" issue. As a caveat, from what I have heard about Murkowski I've liked, Miller not so impressed, so I'm not posting this as a means of slamming Murkowski. But definitely interested on the opinions of others regarding the lobbying/earmarks issue.

Now K Street has its own senator: Lisa Murkowski | Washington Examiner (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Now-K-Street-has-its-own-senator_-Lisa-Murkowski-1595843-108748059.html - broken link)
Banning earmarks isn't going to happen. But, let's say it did. The $15 billion or so saved would end up where? I can say with a great deal of certainty it wouldn't be tucked away in Al Gore's lock box for safe keeping. They'd just spend it on something else -- probably themselves.

And all politicians are influenced by K-street.

There's plenty of other places those taxpayer parasites in DC can cut the fat.

Cut the defense budget in half. Cut the number of federal employees in half. I realize SS, medicare, and medicaid are important to many people, but some sort of reform needs to take place.

Every member of the house gets a free car, free driver, free gas, free insurance, and free upkeep for the car. Axe that.

Every member of the senate gets at least a million dollar annual expense budget. Axe that. House members get almost as much. Axe that. Those taxpayer parasites need to start paying much more of their own expenses.

The retirement package they get is much better than any union member gets. Axe that.

I wouldn't find it difficult at all to cut at least a trillion dollars a year off the federal budget. I can guarantee no one would ever miss a thing that I axed. Well, except for the teat dwellers in Washington.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:53 AM
 
693 posts, read 950,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by think first View Post

And all politicians are influenced by K-street.

There's plenty of other places those taxpayer parasites in DC can cut the fat.
Agree 100%.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
3,538 posts, read 4,500,017 times
Reputation: 1792
Quote:
Originally Posted by think first View Post
I wouldn't find it difficult at all to cut at least a trillion dollars a year off the federal budget. I can guarantee no one would ever miss a thing that I axed. Well, except for the teat dwellers in Washington.
Most of the cuts you list would not actually be beneficial at all, even if they did reduce the budget (though most of them would have very little effect there either.)

But you did hit the right one. Cut the "defense" budget. We simply need to defend the USA. We should stop defending a past President's ego.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
4,045 posts, read 5,435,626 times
Reputation: 2207
Like all the money we are spending on a fruitless war in Afghanistan. I heard one proposed method of reducing the deficit was to get rid of the earned income tax credit for the poorest of Americans.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:13 PM
 
109 posts, read 79,894 times
Reputation: 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by freezengirl View Post
In real terms I think the whole earmarks hysteria is equivalent to arguing about the paint color choice on a home while it and the whole community is going up in flames. Polictical posturing and hype is not what we need our elected leaders to be focused on-we need to focus on our economy, jobs and the tragic consequences of our choices.
Amen. Squabbling about the manner in which budget money we had to borrow against the dubious future of our economy in the first place be allocated for spending is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:57 PM
 
Location: anchorage
292 posts, read 137,016 times
Reputation: 200
Holy crap, Think First finally posted something i agree with. Everyone including Floyd should be able to see that earmarks are a start. All are going to suffer a little to balance the goverment budget just like we do it at home. NOW LETS GET STARTED.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
3,538 posts, read 4,500,017 times
Reputation: 1792
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo700 View Post
Holy crap, Think First finally posted something i agree with. Everyone including Floyd should be able to see that earmarks are a start. All are going to suffer a little to balance the goverment budget just like we do it at home. NOW LETS GET STARTED.
You are still in that harness!

The "ban on earmarks" is a way to make noise that distracts those in harness, to keep them from biting the handlers.

It has nothing to do with anything other than that distraction, and certainly is not intended to reduce the budget.
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