Earmarks in Action!

Per Bob Jauch:

In 2002 Congressman Obey obtained $80,000 earmark requested by Ashland County Sheriff following tragic death of teenager. President Bush singled out this earmark as example of wasteful spending. Two lives were saved yesterday. Convince them the money was wasteful.

Full Story here:

“if it had not been for the Ice Angel and personnel on board, those guys would have died…there was not other means to safely rescue them. Those were the worst conditions I have ever been in for an ice rescue.”

Congrats to Congressman Obey! Maybe the tea partiers/Sean Duffy can call them up and explain why all earmarks are bad!


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16 thoughts on “Earmarks in Action!

  1. As with many things, it is not an argument of whether they are good or bad, but whether it is appropriate. The question here is, why is the federal government paying for that?

  2. I was not able to give this post the time that I wanted. I am not arguing here that all earmarks are good, I even think we need to somehow reform the system. I understand that congress love them because they are what helps keep the incumbents as incumbents. I was just trying to point out that they are not the cause of the downfall of America like the “tea party” likes to point out.

    As for why should the Federal government pay for them? Because we all pay Federal taxes. I would much rather Ashland WI get something that is useful and beneficial and saves lives like this than say, all of us keep bailing out Texas because they want to keep cutting taxes and running on that. This in itself should get its own thread but for now it helps answer the question/…. http://networkedblogs.com/dpo1a

    1. Therein lies the problem though: the federal government is choosing that someone gets something over someone else. We all pay taxes but those dollars get shifted somewhere arbitrarily because Robert Byrd happens to live there.

      Yes we all pay federal taxes — but the answer there is we could be paying less taxes! Let states and local communities decide what resources they need, instead of begging for freebies from the boys who borrow and print money!

    1. Well I don’t believe the federal government exists to give states goodies, whether some do good or not. More often than not, if someone gives you something for “free”, you are going to take it whether you really need it or not. Except in the case of Scott Walker and the train. He was smart enough to realize whether it is federal, state, or local, it’s all taxpayer money!

  3. Shocker of shockers, you’re unable to make a distinction between ends and means. By any means necessary as long as you like the end result, right? People saying earmarks & pork are bad means they hate the rescue boat and want people to die.

    A federal bill to help local governments fund emergency services equipment including funding for the Ice Angel boat would would have been fine. It’s the lack of transparency or open debate – tacking cutouts for local spending on huge and unrelated bills. Though much/most of earmark spending is wasteful, without question there are expenditures for things that are good – even great benefit to the public. That doesn’t make the process any more honest.

    That said, why should federal taxpayers have paid for this? If it was important enough for Ashland County, why the hell couldn’t county taxpayers come up with the $80K to buy it? Other municipalities buy their own. Heck, the town I used to live in had fundraisers to raise money to buy new fire & rescue equipment.

  4. Obama just said in his SOTU that he would veto any bill that had earmarks. I guess that would have to include an earmark for a rescue boat. He didn’t mention earwax in his speech, not yet anyway.

    1. Haven’t we heard that before? Oh yeah:

      “The truth is, our earmark system in Washington is fraught with abuse. It badly needs reform — which is why I didn’t request a single earmark last year, why I’ve released all my previous requests for
      the public to see, and why I’ve pledged to slash earmarks by more than half when I am president of the United States of America.”
      – Barack Obama, September 22, 2008

      “Absolutely, we need earmark reform. And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”
      – Barack Obama, September 26, 2008

      The Omibus Spending bill in 2009 had 9,000 earmarks.

      I hope he’ll change and actually do what he says this time.

      1. Locke, he’s still talking about that transparency website that he talked about during the 2008 campaign — something that somehow didn’t pass under his leadership and a Democrat-led Congress.

  5. Locke, not at all – my point was the “tea parties” who so railed against “ear marks” have no idea what they even do(except the bridge to nowhere).

    Federal taxpayers pay because the fine people of Ashland(not named duffy) are part of the federal taxpayers.

    Fund raiser to raise money to buy new fire and rescue equipement will be up in another post soon. I think that deserves its own thread and am curioud to see what people think.

    1. “And because the American people deserve to know that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet projects, both parties in Congress should know this: if a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it.”

      Thought I would preemtively provide documentation, since I am usually asked to back up my statements with facts.

      PP, sounds like Obama is raling against them. Does he have any idea what they do?! Was it a special interest that asked for the boat in Ashland? Obama must be part of the “tea parties.”

      Also, yes Ashland people (Duffy included) are part of federal taxpayers, but unless each and every community got a rescue boat (or some equivalent), how would it be fair?

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