Monday, June 25, 2007

Editorial: "Congress disappoints again with ‘pork’ bill"

The unnamed Courier editor feels that $153 million in earmarked spending, in the context of a trillion-dollar budget that doesn't include funding for two ongoing wars, is something worth his morning finger-wag. OK, fair enough, how are we doing, relatively speaking?

Drawing from a comparative report by the Congressional Research Service (big PDF), I did a couple of sums. It appears that for '05, following a decade of consecutive increases, Congress earmarked over 1.2 billion bucks for over 16,000 individual projects. Took me about ten minutes, including downloading the 50-page report on dialup.

I can't say how the editor arrived at his number, so I don't know that it's directly comparable, but I'm sure that if he'd found a higher number he'd have used it. I'll walk right past the discussion we ought to be having about the good that's bound to be mixed in with the bad in the earmark pile. Just taking the editor's supposed point of view, it seems to me that in the context of his apparent desire to reduce earmarks, a drop in this category of spending by nearly an order of magnitude in two years ought to be cause for celebration rather than disappointment.

So which do we have here: a lack of interest in the simplest research, or a considered effort to make the voters dumber and slam Democrats? Either way, our community is poorly served.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow, we get a two-for here: No mention of the need for term limits (like that would solve anything...the corruption would just begin sooner) and no cowboy movie reference. Face it: without these not much would get done on a level we deem local. Look at our current corrupt representative: didn't last year he approve more than $1 million for roads in Yavapai County? Do you think the taxpayers in, say, New Hampshire liked the idea? It's a trade off, and a valuable one at that. jared