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post #31 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by edfreeman View Post
Well, if you need more to bitch about, here you go:

'Earmark' cash aids Dem freshmen - USATODAY.com

Anyone feel misled?
Two things about Earmarks. First, now there is a transparency to earmarks which means that Congressman P has to attach his/her name to the earmark and accept responsibility for it, something that was not done under the Republicans and has eliminated much of the misleading.

Second, Earmarks never have all been bad. There are always going to be projects that Congressmen and Senators have to put in budgets for their constituents [say the $4Million that Zack Wamp got for the Soddy Daisy, et.al. Meth Task Force in 2006]. That is not a bad thing. Meth is very bad in that part of Tennessee and was needed. Funding was appropriated by an Earmark.

When Earmark became a political word, it became a football which is sad. So MISLED, no. Do I like that I can see just who earmarked money and for what, YES.

I like these changes.

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Kentucky

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post #32 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 12:40 PM
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Thievery, bribery -- earmarks represent both. They are a blight upon freedom and democracy, and should be eliminated altogether.
I just checked out the earmarks for 6th District of Kentucky to see what was there. $2.9M [7 earmarks] in the HHS and HUD budgets for 2007. Of those $2M were for facilities and equipment for regional hospitals and the UK hospital, all of which are 25-50 year old facilities. The remainder went to a statewide drug treatment program and one statewide Kentucky Arts Council program for $200K.

I am trying to spot the Thievery and bribery in those projects, many of which are long overdue and in the case of the rural hospitals have been needed for decades.

Yet they are all listed as Earmarks in Sunlight Foundation's website so we can see "where the waste goes".

Sunlight Foundation - Earmark map

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post #33 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 12:58 PM
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If you don't think that earmarks are used to steal money from taxpayers and drop said stolen money into the laps of lobbyists and campaign contributors, you are fooling yourself. And if you don't think that earmarks are used to bribe lawmakers into supporting bills they might otherwise not support, you are fooling yourself again. Why should federal monies be tucked away for state projects inside of other bills that are oft times of no relation whatsoever to the earmarked funds? Have you checked the earmarks tucked away in defense bills just last year? Take a peek if you dare. Absolutely appalling.

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post #34 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 01:00 PM
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The word Earmark wonder where that was first used, and other odd phrases like "Footing the Bill and Fork over the cash" just wondering.
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post #35 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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The word Earmark wonder where that was first used, and other odd phrases like "Footing the Bill and Fork over the cash" just wondering.
I believe the word dates to the 16th century, originally referring to cuts or marks in the ears of cattle and sheep made as a mark of ownership.

Don't believe everything you think
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post #36 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
If you don't think that earmarks are used to steal money from taxpayers and drop said stolen money into the laps of lobbyists and campaign contributors, you are fooling yourself. And if you don't think that earmarks are used to bribe lawmakers into supporting bills they might otherwise not support, you are fooling yourself again. Why should federal monies be tucked away for state projects inside of other bills that are oft times of no relation whatsoever to the earmarked funds? Have you checked the earmarks tucked away in defense bills just last year? Take a peek if you dare. Absolutely appalling.
I know some Earmarks are used to simply payoff contributors [Kentucky's own DHS Boatramp and Parking Lot in Hal Rogers' 5th District is a great example] BUT my point is that not all Earmarks are improper [like Digital mammography instruments for rural KY hospitals, or edfreeman's $4M Meth Lab] so a blanket statement that Earmarks are bad and theft and such is plain misleading at the least.

Earmarks are a major problem to address, no matter how you look at it. Depending on the items, say the various districts hospital and drug enforcement earmarks as examples. If they were not tucked into larger bills they would have to be voted on separately. With 2000 of them, that might run 500 hours or more. That is legislatively inefficient.

Now you could say "those are states issues and should be funded by the states". OK, Then federal taxes go down and state taxes go up but the pool of requirements remains the same. Only now there are 50 Administrations overhead, process and procedures instead of one [seems inefficient to me].

So the real issue is to target those lawmakers that do issue earmarks [thanks to the Dems that is easier to do] and hold their feet to the fire to justify every one of them, down to who paid whom and why. That will slow the rogue earmarks down and allow the essential ones to continue.

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post #37 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 07:00 PM
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Now you could say "those are states issues and should be funded by the states". OK, Then federal taxes go down and state taxes go up but the pool of requirements remains the same. Only now there are 50 Administrations overhead, process and procedures instead of one [seems inefficient to me].
It is not inefficient, especially since those legislative bodies are already in place, and that is precisely the kind of tasks they are best equipped to undertake. Why should a Congressman in RI be forced to review and study the merits of a $400K project tagged for NM? He/she shouldn't, and almost certainly won't bother to do so. He/she will likely ignore the project altogether, yet vote for or against it based on the merits of something entirely unrelated. That is not only inefficient, it is ridiculous, and contributes mightily to the graft and corruption of the good old boys club on Capital Hill.

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post #38 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
It is not inefficient, especially since those legislative bodies are already in place, and that is precisely the kind of tasks they are best equipped to undertake. Why should a Congressman in RI be forced to review and study the merits of a $400K project tagged for NM? He/she shouldn't, and almost certainly won't bother to do so. He/she will likely ignore the project altogether, yet vote for or against it based on the merits of something entirely unrelated. That is not only inefficient, it is ridiculous, and contributes mightily to the graft and corruption of the good old boys club on Capital Hill.
Atta baby . . . and, "edfreeman's $4M meth lab" has such a negative connotation, don't you think?

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post #39 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
It is not inefficient, especially since those legislative bodies are already in place, and that is precisely the kind of tasks they are best equipped to undertake. Why should a Congressman in RI be forced to review and study the merits of a $400K project tagged for NM? He/she shouldn't, and almost certainly won't bother to do so. He/she will likely ignore the project altogether, yet vote for or against it based on the merits of something entirely unrelated. That is not only inefficient, it is ridiculous, and contributes mightily to the graft and corruption of the good old boys club on Capital Hill.
Yep. Plus, if the feds devolve programs to the states then it is not necessarily true that state (or local) taxes must rise to meet the difference -- my state may choose not to fund socialized medicine, for example while another state may believe it critically important. Fine with me.

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post #40 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 07:15 PM
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I believe the word dates to the 16th century, originally referring to cuts or marks in the ears of cattle and sheep made as a mark of ownership.
I wonder if shanes avatar has an earmark.
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