GOP politicians have been quietly writing letters to government agencies encouraging them to fund special pork projects in their home districts or states. At the same time they join calls for ending pork barrel earmarks claiming they are a waste of tax dollars. This is nothing new.
It is a symptom of the disease. I’d be willing to bet even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) asks for federal funding to be brought back to his home district, and then vote against the bill as it passes through the House.
Let’s say you’re a new congressman on Capital Hill and you’ve gotten into office campaigning on a reduction of the size of the federal government and a return of power to the states. You admit state tax revenue would need to be increased to cover the lost revenue that would no longer be passed up through the federal government and back to the states.
Sounds good right? Why pass all of those tax dollars up through federal agencies where political favors and back-room deals are the norm. It’s a roll of the dice to see if you get “your” share sent back to your state.
Washington is a flood of cash, and you put your plan into action, but Democrats and Republicans laugh at you and encourage you to drink from the trough. But you stick to your principles and refuse to ask for any federal funding for your district … you get nothing special. No earmarks, no big projects, no flood of cash, no visits from the president.
Once your constituents find out other districts got multi-million dollar projects to build a new general aviation runway, renovate the sidewalks on Main Street, renovate three historic homes, fund six new community police officers for the next three years, provide a new fire truck, and build a new museum dedicated to a home-town artist they get pissed off.
Even though none of those projects promote the national welfare, you don’t even get the nomination from your party on the next election cycle.
Again … it’s all a symptom of the disease.
The Washington Times has a not-so-surprising story about Republican congressman who feel the need to bring home the bacon without becoming a target of the TEA Party. Pet projects are really irresistible … from within the beltway bubble.
Sen. Christopher S. Bond regularly railed against President Obama’s economic stimulus plan as irresponsible spending that would drive up the national debt. But behind the scenes, the Missouri Republican quietly sought more than $50 million from a federal agency for two projects in his state.
Mr. Bond was not alone. More than a dozen Republican lawmakers, while denouncing the stimulus to the media and their constituents, privately sent letters to just one of the federal government’s many agencies seeking stimulus money for home-state pork projects. Read more…
A fundamental change in our culture and the way we think is required. It may take more than 50 years to get there since it took us more than 50 years to get to the soft-tyranny within the federal monster we are stuck with today.
What say you?