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 Posted: Sun Jan 29th, 2006 12:22 pm
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javal1
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Folks,

See this article for details.

I think we all understand that porkbarrel spending is one of the many serious problems in our government today. So I guess my question is - is it OK when it's "our" pork? Some of you may have heard that $1 million was recently obtained in just such a way for a Civil War museum in Richmond. What really disgusted me was that it was pinned onto the National Defense spending bill i.e. the money our guys in Iraq and Afghanistan need.

Please understand that I'm not naive, and I fully understand how government works. So I guess I can't really explain why this particular earmark strikes me as so unseemly, but it does. Would like to hear the opinions of others. Is pork bad unless it's our pork?



 Posted: Sun Jan 29th, 2006 04:27 pm
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Kent Nielsen
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I'm an outsider, being a Canadian. But my own thinking is that adding provisions to a bill, ANY bill that is not relevant TO that bill should be illegal. Either funding like this should be placed in seperate bills or quite, frankly, in time of war or a national emergency, ignored. I think if the American public treasures it's heritage as much I've always thought it did, it could be called on to donate privately to these projects.

Last edited on Sun Jan 29th, 2006 04:28 pm by Kent Nielsen



 Posted: Sun Jan 29th, 2006 09:54 pm
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Harry
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Good or bad, lawmakers are supposed to "bring home the pork." Over the years, though, it has gotten really out of hand. It's difficult to provide an easy answer to the questions. Ideally, each project should be able to stand on its own. We know that's not how it works, though. I suspect this project was one of those "last minute" add-ons to the bill--ensuring that it would get funded. Does that make it right? Probably not. Obtaining private foundation funding for historical projects is quite difficult. The "pie" isn't very large and there are lots of grant applications competing for that "slice of the pie."



 Posted: Mon Jan 30th, 2006 02:53 pm
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David White
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It's difficult to provide an easy answer to the questions

No it's not, a line item veto for the president solves everything.  Not that the current president is exercising his power to veto like he should but that is another topic.



 Posted: Mon Jan 30th, 2006 03:05 pm
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javal1
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Not needed David, as Reagan proved when he sent a budget bill back to Congress because of too much pork. All you really need is a President that actually stands for something, but as you say, that's another topic ;)



 Posted: Mon Jan 30th, 2006 03:23 pm
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David White
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Oh that would be great politcial fodder on critical budget issues like uparmoring Humvees and flak jackets for the troops.  I'm not disagreeing with you, a principled president like Reagan could send the message and cut out the majority of the pork after two or three vetos but I'm not sure in today's political and press climate it would work.  The line item veto would IMO put the focus back where it belongs on the congressmen and make them justify and get others on their side to override the president's veto, if the pork was worth it.  Of course the down side is the folks at home would get visibility to what their "Bird" was doing for them and keep sending him whistling back to congress after each election.

Okay, here's a solution, lets rotate the districts every election, next election my district gets to vote for the representatives and Senators  in Massachusetts.  That would fix some problems. ;) 



 Posted: Mon Jan 30th, 2006 03:31 pm
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javal1
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Okay, here's a solution, lets rotate the districts every election

Right away you want to mess with the districts - I can tell what state you're in :P Can't wait till the Haight-Ashbury crowd gets to vote on yours! Now David and I will attempt to sheath our jousting swords within this topic (but I can't wait till someone opens a "modern politics" topic within the lounge)



 Posted: Mon Jan 30th, 2006 03:37 pm
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David White
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:)  Yeah that's the down side to that idea isn't it?  But it might make great reality TV it's a lot like Trading Spouses.  My congresswife would be the prim and proper home schooler stuck with the leather wearing swinging husband with foul mouthed kids who sleep until noon, I couldn't do that to her!!!



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