Read the Bills Act Coalition

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Here Piggy Piggy! OINK, OINK

Growing up in Iowa, I know something about pork and will concede that Earmarks are a funny thing; a congressman (or woman) can point to them as doing something for their constituents directly and yet can add millions and millions of dollars in unnecessary cost to any bill. If our elected officials were building homeless shelters, hospitals and soup kitchens then that is one thing but check out some of these great causes being supported by taxpayer’s money. Here are some facts from Taxpayers for Common Sense (http://www.taxpayer.net/), please check out the sight to investigate the complete Earmarks list:

    • From the House Transportation Bill Rep. Olver (D-MA)receives 16 earmarks worth a total of $16.24 million, including $275,000 for the private Barrington Stage Company to renovate the Berkshire Music Hall and Octagon House and $100,000 for a Massachusetts Landscape Connectivity Study, $100,000 for the Wakely Lodge Resort, a golf course, for renovation of the Wakely Lodge in Hamilton, NY, secured by Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) Love to golf don’t think taxpayers should pay for it·
    • Rep. Baird (D-WA) Rep. Dicks (D-WA) Rep. McDermott (D-WA) Rep. Reichert (R-WA) are sponsoring $1,000,000 to Outdoor Research for Extended Cold Weather Clothing System Hand Protection System (isn't this "system" called gloves) in the Defense Bill, also in the defense bill: $1.5M for the Revolutionary 1.5 Volt Alkaline Battery, $2 million for Alcohol breath detectors made by WNCK, Inc. of The Woodlands, TX, and $1.95M ONYX OPTICS - Advanced Bonded Diamond for Optical Applications - Onyx Optics is located in Dublin, CA
    • Charles Rangel (D-NY) has earmarked $2,000,000 for City College of New York, NY for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service to prepare individuals for careers in public service, which includes establishing an endowment, library and archives for such center” this library and archives will store all Charles Rangel memorabilia and papers in the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill, for 2008….nice creating your own museum at our expense, someone has a biiig ego
    • We also have earmark’s that have classified amounts that we cannot even know, so it could be $1 or $5,000,000.00. A few of those are: Rep Jerry Lewis (R-CA) for "Classified" Amount to University of Redlands for Geospatial Intelligence Analysis Education” , Classified Amount to Multiple Recipients for China Geospatial Data Project sponsored by Rep. Boustany (R-LA) Rep. Everett (R-AL) Rep. Jindal(R-LA)
The following is a written statement by Ryan Alexander, President of Taxpayers for Common Sense about the Appropriations Bill and Earmarks:

“The Consolidated Appropriations Bill is a perfect example of haste making waste. The House Rules Committee is currently meeting to lay the groundwork for considering the 3,565 page omnibus containing $517 billion in spending tonight. The bill will have been available for less than 24 hours – so no member of Congress can honestly say that they will have read the bill before they vote tonight. Over the next several months, we are going to find all sorts of buried
treasure for special interests littered throughout the bill. We’ve already found an early Christmas present for Big Energy, an expansion of the energy loan guarantee program, putting taxpayers on the hook to underwrite billions in risky loans, including $20 billion for the nuclear power industry and $8 billion for coal. We also have found 8,983 earmarks worth $7.4 billion, and as we scrutinize the bill further, more will come to light. When you add that to the 2,161 earmarks worth $7.9 billion in the already defense spending bill you come up with 11,144 earmarks worth $15.3 billion. This represents a reduction over previous years; this is a good start for taxpayers, but Congress still has a long, long way to go before earmarks get to manageable levels.The nation would be far better served if Congress slowed down and allowed the bill to be scrutinized, evaluated and vetted before moving forward. If Congress can’t slow down, they should pass a continuing resolution until January and pick up when they are less harried and cooler heads can prevail.”
It is amazing how much we could save on all appropriations and spending bills if the process was more transparent,. If Congressmen and women were required to read the complete bill before voting on it (Read the Bill Act Coalition .) We as taxpayers need to stop letting these politicians spend our money without any regard the how and how much, this isn’t their money they are only stewards of it while in office.


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