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Pork Reduction
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, December 06, 2006

As they move toward minority status, the Republican Congress is taking some steps to limit fiscal damage:
Already, the Republican leadership has moved to saddle the new Democratic majority with responsibility for resolving $463 billion in spending bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. [...] The unstated goal is to disrupt the Democratic agenda and make it harder for the new majority to meet its promise to reinstitute "pay-as-you-go" budget rules, under which new costs or tax cuts must be offset to protect the deficit from growing.
And why not? Since we're running a large deficit, why shouldn't new spending be made difficult? The Republicans have already passed a stop-gap Continuing Resolution to maintain (generally) previous levels of funding. After years of massive spending increases, surely our federal agencies can live for awhile without yet another massive raise.

The Americans for Prosperity Blog points out the good news here:
in light of our large deficits, who wants to argue that we're not spending enough money?
[I]t looks like Congress is all set to approve a long-term continuing resolution that will fund the federal government — without additional pork-barrel earmarks — until mid-February and possibly beyond.

This means potentially great news for the taxpayer: a possibly historic drop in the number and cost of pork-barrel earmarks this year. According to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, Congress approved 12,852 earmarks in fiscal year 2006. Citizens Against Government Waste reports that so far this year, Congress has approved approximately 2,600 earmarks. If the new Democratic majority decides to approve another long-term CR instead of dealing with the 10 outstanding appropriations bills in February (an admittedly big "if," but a distinct possibility), it could mean a roughly 80 percent drop in the number of pork-barrel earmarks for fiscal year 2007!

This would be a huge victory for the taxpayers, who should be grateful to hard-nosed leaders like Senators Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint and Congressmen Jeff Flake, Mike Pence, Jeb Hensarling, Scott Garrett, Tom Feeney, John Shadegg and others. Credit also goes to the Porkbusters coalition of bloggers and pro-taxpayer grassroots groups and think tanks in Washington and across the country.
The departing Republicans have made a substantial contribution to deficit reduction. So, in light of our large deficits, who wants to argue that we're not spending enough money?

UDPATE:

The Influence Peddler adds this good point. The "disaster" that some are complaining about amounts to only $6 billion. "That sounds like a lot of money", he writes "until you realize that the total projected expenditure of the federal government in fiscal year 2007 is $2.7 trillion. The staggering shortfall that the government must deal with is about 0.2% of federal spending..."
Yes, this is a difficult appropriations process to manage, particularly in an environment where elected officials have come to expect annual increases of nearly 8 percent in spending. But a 0.2% reduction does not constitute a disaster or a crisis; it's only portrayed that way.
Forget "liberal bias" or "conservative bias". The real problem with the media is their consistent bias in favor of government.
 
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The departing Republicans have made a substantial contribution to deficit reduction. So, in light of our large deficits, who wants to argue that we’re not spending enough money?
What is the message here from republicans?

We can be fiscally responsible as long as we know we are losing the purse strings?

To be sure, this is good news, but is there anything that is not self serving about the Republicans trying to limit spending that they won’t control anyway?

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
To be sure, this is good news, but is there anything that is not self serving about the Republicans trying to limit spending that they won’t control anyway?
Did you expect some other motivation from any politician?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"The departing Republicans have made a substantial contribution to deficit reduction."

Oh. Dear. God. ROFL.

Thanks. Funniest thing I’ve read all day. You’re talking about the guys who’ve quadrupled the number of earmarks in the years they held power. The guys who allowed most of the National Guard’s combat brigades to slip to the lowest level of readiness during a shooting war by not replacing/repairing their equipment. The guys who’ve written up legislation for the banking, pharmaceutical and oil industries a few months before going to work for those industries as lobbyists.

Thanks guys. Hope the door hits you in the azz like you deserve.
 
Written By: Svejk
URL: http://
Since the Rs aren’t going to do anything in the last couple months of the session, I think they should just rebate their salaries for those two months. Getting paid for doing nothing is analogous to pork. I know it’s not a lot of money, but it would make me feel better about them.
 
Written By: Steven Donegal
URL: http://
You’re talking about the guys who’ve quadrupled the number of earmarks in the years they held power.
Yes, but I’m only talking about them as they are "departing". I thought that was clear.

Clearly, this specific move — as they are departing — was a contribution to deficit reduction. If you want criticism of previous spending, just wander over to our archives and look around. In the meantime, read what I wrote, not what you imagine I might have intended.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
I thoughtyou were being sarcastic.
In fact the R’s are not doing anything constructive to contribute to deficit reduction. The opposite—they are trying to make paygo harder. I’m surprised you can’t see that. (Yes I know paygo wouldn’t reduce the deficit but you can’t get to reduction if you don’t get don’t get contol of the spending first.) It’s just spitefulness on their part.
 
Written By: laura
URL: http://
It’s just spitefulness on their part.
Spitefulness that reduces spending. The harder it is to spend more, the better. And that spitefulness is exactly why many wanted divided govt in the first place.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
So Laura and Svejk, praytell, what govt. program can we expect the libs to cut back on in the next two years? Is that the sound of crickets I hear. Thought so....
 
Written By: Come on, Please
URL: http://
The opposite—they are trying to make paygo harder
How is that? Under PAYGO, you can’t enact new spending without new tax hikes, or new tax cuts without spending cuts. How does a reduction in spending growth hurt PAYGO?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Its cynical, but on the other hand, this might augur for the future a lower level of spending due to divided government, and thats ok with me.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
So Laura and Svejk, praytell, what govt. program can we expect the libs to cut back on in the next two years?


Hopefully they’ll act quickly to eliminate roughly 8 billion dollars per month in spending on the greatest foreign policy blunder in the history of the country.

It’s a start. Of course you can be the VA will be costing us a lot more per year in the coming years.
 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
Hopefully they’ll act quickly to eliminate roughly 8 billion dollars per month in spending on the greatest foreign policy blunder in the history of the country.
sure, but pulling out too soon might be the textbook definition of "penny wise, and pound foolish"
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
So Laura and Svejk, praytell, what govt. program can we expect the libs to cut back on in the next two years? Is that the sound of crickets I hear. Thought so....
Iraq. Next question.
sure, but pulling out too soon might be the textbook definition of "penny wise, and pound foolish"
Yes, because all those pennies really appear to be paying off. After all, we need to stay and train the Shia to be better terrorists. Indeed, maybe we should buy them some new drill bits. The ones they use to hollow out the heads of their fellow Iraqis must surely be growing dull by now.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Despite the fact the GOP failed to do its job, pass all the budget bills, there’s some consolation.

The GOP obviously needs to regain a reputation for cutting spending. Just opposing Democratic spending increases (and you know there will be plenty) isn’t enough. They’ll have to advance cuts that could possibly get passed by reaching out to more conservative Democrats. They have to be construction and not just oppositional if they want a shot at regaining the Congress.
 
Written By: Sean Hackbarth
URL: http://www.theamericanmind.com
Despite the fact the GOP failed to do its job, pass all the budget bills,
Didn’t we *just* go over this?

Since when is passing spending bills mandatory? Does the Constitution say anywhere, "Thou shalt pass an appropriations bill every year"?
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Hopefully they’ll act quickly to eliminate roughly 8 billion dollars per month in spending on the greatest foreign policy blunder in the history of the country.
No, in the history of the universe, man. Yeah, I’d feel so much safer with Saddam in power. You? Of course you would. You probably get all giddy staring at your wallet-sized Chavez photo every night, too.

Davebo, go back to BalloonJuice with the rest of the leftwing nutjobs and stop pissing all over this blog (like you tried over at Volokh.com last week and were thankfully ignored.) Seriously. Everytime you post I gotta look down to make sure the pee isn’t already up to my socks.


I know we’ve been over this a million times, but who said this:

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Today I am signing into law H.R. 4655, the "Iraq Liberation Act of XXXX." This Act makes clear that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should support those elements of the Iraqi opposition that advocate a very different future for Iraq than the bitter reality of internal repression and external aggression that the current regime in Baghdad now offers.

Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are: The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.

The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq’s history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else. The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.

My Administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The evidence is overwhelming that such changes will not happen under the current Iraq leadership.

In the meantime, while the United States continues to look to the Security Council’s efforts to keep the current regime’s behavior in check, we look forward to new leadership in Iraq that has the support of the Iraqi people. The United States is providing support to opposition groups from all sectors of the Iraqi community that could lead to a popularly supported government.

On October 21, XXXX, I signed into law the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, XXXX, which made $8 million available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition. This assistance is intended to help the democratic opposition unify, work together more effectively, and articulate the aspirations of the Iraqi people for a pluralistic, participa—tory political system that will include all of Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious groups. As required by the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY XXXX(Public Law 105-174), the Department of State submitted a report to the Congress on plans to establish a program to support the democratic opposition. My Administration, as required by that statute, has also begun to implement a program to compile information regarding allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by Iraq’s current leaders as a step towards bringing to justice those directly responsible for such acts.

The Iraq Liberation Act of XXXX provides additional, discretionary authorities under which my Administration can act to further the objectives I outlined above. There are, of course, other important elements of U.S. policy. These include the maintenance of U.N. Security Council support efforts to eliminate Iraq’s weapons and missile programs and economic sanctions that continue to deny the regime the means to reconstitute those threats to international peace and security. United States support for the Iraqi opposition will be carried out consistent with those policy objectives as well. Similarly, U.S. support must be attuned to what the opposition can effectively make use of as it develops over time. With those observations, I sign H.R. 4655 into law.

A PRESIDENT

THE WHITE HOUSE,

 
Written By: Come on, Please
URL: http://
Yes I know paygo wouldn’t reduce the deficit but you can’t get to reduction if you don’t get don’t get contol of the spending first
There is no question that the Republican maneuver would make it harder for politicians to "control" the amount of Federal largesse that flows to their own districts and pork barrel projects, but I don’t think that is what you meant.

Eliminating earmarks, as some Republicans are attempting to do, makes it easier, not harder, to restrain spending.
In fact the R’s are not doing anything constructive to contribute to deficit reduction. The opposite—they are trying to make paygo harder.
Mathematically, spending less would seem to make paygo easier.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Mathematically, spending less would seem to make paygo easier.
If your goal is to spend less, then yes. If your goal is to spend more and raise taxes to cover that spending, then no.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
This is test. please disregard.
 
Written By: have i been blacklisted
URL: http://

 
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