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ABC News on the $4 billion in earmarks and names more Democrats than Republicans as the culprits

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 12:48 AM
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ABC News on the $4 billion in earmarks and names more Democrats than Republicans as the culprits
Today's ABC World News on Charles Gibson's final month as anchor included a report revealing that Congress spent nearly $4 billion in earmarks for this year's budget. For a whole bunch of silly pet projects and gizmos, reporter Jonathan Karl named these Congress members as the culprits:

5 Democrats:
Rep. Jerold Nadler (NY)
Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Leonard Boswell (IA)
Sens. Daniel Akaka and Dan Inouye (HI)

However, Karl noted that two Republicans, Mississippi Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, had two of the biggest earmarks out of this 4 billi, specifically $8 million for a tiny little airport in their home state.

So what's worse, five Democrats who are part of the problem, or two greedy Republicans taking a big chunk of the cake? Conservatives would use this as an opportunity to get on Free Republic or wherever and blast those "tax n' spend" Democrats. But the reality is, it took two Republican senators in one deeply red state to add a big amount of waste to our national debt and yearly deficit.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 02:21 AM
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1. Earmarks aren't necessarily "silly." They are usually for projects that are more important
to a specific locality than to the U.S. as a whole.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:00 PM
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5. Projects important to a specific locality are local and should be funded locally.
It isn't like it is free money. We all pay for it however there is much less accountability at federal level and there is also an incentive to waste money because "everyone else" pays for it.

If VA for example wants to build a museum on lint it will cost VA voters money. Say cost ends up being $1.00 per person in taxes. However via earmarks VA can have rest of country subsidize that stupidity thus it ends up costing each Virginian $0.03 per capita (and $0.03 per capita for every other non-Virginian in the country).

It is a poor system even when used for the best of projects. It is inherently wasteful.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 04:27 AM
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2. Didn't you find that report terrifically "fair and balanced"? We sure did! (NT)
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-12-09 01:32 PM
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3. Certain states also have tag teams of earmarkers
nt
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joeylikesitblue Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-10 08:36 AM
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4. There is so much
senseless spending that goes on it boggles the mind. Check out this post from Huffpo by US senate candidate Brad Ellsworth:

That's just what Congress is doing: rewarding government contractors who are delinquent on their taxes with lucrative federal contracts.

The problem is more widespread than you might think. Studies by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have repeatedly shown that thousands of federal contractors owe over $5 billion in unpaid taxes. Despite these disturbing numbers, federal agencies are not required to consider tax debts in making contracting decisions. In fact, current law actually prohibits agencies from accessing the tax data necessary to identify and stop these tax cheats from receiving taxpayer-funded contracts.

Everyday Americans play by the rules and pay their taxes; I don't think it's too much to ask companies that receive millions, sometimes billions, in taxpayer dollars to do the same. Not only do these bad actors cheat our government of tax revenue, they also gain an unfair advantage over businesses that are doing the right thing.

That's why I teamed up with Senator Claire McCaskill to introduce the Contracting and Tax Accountability Act. The bill requires contract and grant applicants to give contracting officers permission to check their tax status, and it withholds large federal contracts from businesses and organizations that fail to file tax returns and are delinquent on their taxes.

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