Free Markets, Free People


9,000 earmarks in omnibus spending bill

“I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadily resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people.” – Grover Cleveland

An omnibus spending bill introduced today in Congress is stuffed with 9,000 earmarks:

“We need earmark reform,” Obama said in September during a presidential debate in Oxford, Miss. “And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

President Obama should prepare to carve out a lot of free time and keep the coffee hot next week as Congress prepares to unveil a $410 billion omnibus spending bill that’s riddled with thousands of earmarks, despite his calls for restraint and efforts on Capitol Hill to curtail the practice.

The bill will contain about 9,000 earmarks totaling $5 billion, congressional officials say. Many of the earmarks – loosely defined as local projects inserted by members of Congress – were inserted last year as the spending bills worked their way through various committees.

In case you’re wondering, the highest number of earmarks in a single year is 13,997 (2005) at a cost of $27.3 billion. Though the number of earmarks dropped to 9,963 in 2006, the cost surpassed the previous year at $29 billion.

Obama has pledged to “slash earmarks to no greater than 1994 levels and ensure all spending decisions are open to the public.” This spending bill isn’t a great start on that promise.

You can read the FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act here.

H/T: Club for Growth

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10 Responses to 9,000 earmarks in omnibus spending bill

  • I don’t think the President measures time like normal people – last week, largest spending bill ever, and not even reviewed by probably conservatively 50% of the people who signed it.
    THIS week, it’s slashing the deficit and fiscal restraint!
    What’s up for next week? Oh, right, this bill…so…we’ll restrain ourselves this week, and cut the deficit by Friday, and then it’s renewed spending on social programs!  Yeaaa haaaaaaa.
    Change, like the weather.

  • Obama’s presidency is reminding me more and more of Homer Simpson’s stint as Sanitation Commissioner.

  • Mmmm…  Smell that?  That’s the smell of Hope and Change…

    Wait, I’m grilling pork tenderloin…  Never mind.

  • looker has it right. I think Obama merely comes up with stuff to counter any critics he is seeing. Very reactionary.

    So this week it will be slashing the budget deficit after they realized people were concerned.It dovetails nicely with increasing taxes, too, which helps.

    Next week then, will be The Plan to Inspire Growth, as businessmen start to worry about all those new taxes.

  • “I dunno, I’m makin’ it up as I go along” is good for Indiana Jones, not so good for the President of the United States.

    Or is this just more words, just more speeches?

  • Well, they elected a leftist.

    Lay down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

    Maybe Pogue will like the new 90% marginal tax rate :)

  • This is the same guy who was teaching Constitutional law?

    Seems like I remember the Left having a kitten about how unconstitutional it was when Reagan wanted a line item veto.

    But now we have a Socialist and things are different.

  • looker has it right. I think Obama merely comes up with stuff to counter any critics he is seeing. Very reactionary.

    Just wait until he figures out that cruise missiles will bump his critics off the front pages. And, when the cruise missiles no longer make big enough headlines, we can only Hope he never says, “Hey, Rahmbo! Why’s that military guy always following me around with that briefcase?”

  • I feel malaise coming on.

  • the malaise is just the beginning.
    for any of these people who ACTUALLY thought there is going to be “change” and who are ACTUALLY following things, they will soon be fully disillusioned, followed by alienation.

    the plus side is that most of the mickey mouse club and BET watchers who voted for this clown don’t have the TIME to follow the direction of the country. don’t you know there is a new season of Idol on?

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1518064/what_me_earmark.html?singlepage=true&cat=75

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