Until this election, I assumed 'earmarks' were a minor unfortunate cost of doing business in Washington. But when I saw the actual numbers I realized how ridiculous the scope of earmarks has become. Hillary Clinton herself had $342 million in earmarks last year alone (Obama has attempted to have his money cake and spend it too, working on earmark legislation yet managing about $80 million himself). That kind of money would buy a lot of vaccines, schoolbooks, new roads or even - gasp - put some money back into our pockets (by my math Hillary owes everyone in America $1 for 2006.).
Since Congress had a chance to end this practice and failed us, the only way to end this practice is as our founders intended, with the President's veto pen. John McCain's distinctive refusal to sneak millions of dollars onto his bills, and his vocal crusade against the practice, put teeth into his promise to veto earmarked bills from his Oval Office. The New York Post quotes McCain:
"Pork-barrel spending," McCain says, "is an insult to taxpayers, a waste of public resources, and an abdication of our leaders' responsibility to be good and honorable stewards of the public treasury, for the benefit of all Americans, not just a few." He says he wants to end, not mend, earmarks, and in the
meantime he declines to seek them for his own state.
McCain has the backbone, we the voters need to give him the pen.
Thanks to Partisan American for pointing out the elusive (but scary!) numbers...