Outrageous. If I was in Congress and was willing to provide federal financial aid for New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut, I’d outright demand not one dime be included in the bill that was not specific to storm relief. Of course, that won’t happen .. and the current bill provides $100 million for the federal government’s Head Start program among tons of other spending.
It’s called an Omnibus Spending Bill and if it sounds familiar it’s because the Democrats pulled this on everyone last year too. This one is $1.1 trillion dollars, designed to fund the government, not for a few weeks until the Republicans take control, but fund it through the entire year. Consider it a parting shot by the losing party … and once again it’s full of pork. Read more
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) is reminding Arkansas voters she brought back – more or less stole – millions of dollars from other states in federal pork spending. I’ve mentioned this in the past … states are getting into the habit of voting for incumbents as long as they bring back more pork dollars then the other guy. Not good.
Symptom of the disease I tell ya. Corruption is everywhere in Washington and the solution to solve the beltway-critter’s cash redistribution efforts is to move power back to the states. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) sponsors a bill which would provide federal grants to overseas wildlife protection for lions and cheetahs. Rogers’ daughter likes cats.
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.
Perhaps no single individual can exemplify the profligate spending and massive ego that is Congress better than John Murtha. And what better monument to his ego than the airport that has been named for this poltroon.
“The John Murtha airport sits on a windy mountain two hours east of Pittsburgh, a 650-acre expanse of smooth tarmac, spacious buildings, a helicopter hangar and a National Guard training center.
Inside the terminal on a recent weekday, four passengers lined up to board a flight, outnumbered by seven security staff members and supervisors, all suited up in gloves and uniforms to screen six pieces of luggage. For three hours that day, no commercial or private planes took off or landed. Three commercial flights leave the airport on weekdays, all bound for Dulles International Airport.
The key to the airport’s gleaming facilities — and, indeed, its continued existence — is $200 million in federal funds in the past decade and the powerful patron who steered most of that money here. Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) is credited with securing at least $150 million for the airport. It was among the first in the country to win funding from this year’s stimulus package: $800,000 to repave a backup runway.”
Three commercial flights a day between Dulles and nowhere… a 34 passenger plane that flies for *four* people. Now, business does occasionally pick up during election season, when Mr. Murtha flies home to campaign.
What hath John Murtha wrought?
“Murtha, dubbed the King of Pork by critics, consistently directs more federal money to his district than any other congressman — $192 million in the 2008 budget. His pattern of steering millions in earmarks to defense contractors who give to his campaign and hire his allies as lobbyists is being scrutinized by the FBI as part of an investigation of a lobbying firm led by one of Murtha’s closest friends.
The lawmaker, who uses the airport frequently during his campaigns, has steadily steered millions of taxpayer dollars to it to build a new terminal with a restaurant; a long, concrete runway sturdy enough to handle large jets; and a high-tech radar system usually reserved for international airports.”
So, we have an over-appointed, under-utilized airport that, for most practical purposes, amounts to a private convenience for Murtha so he can parachute in during election season and get re-elected. A runway that will never see a large jet, a radar that is overkill for a regional facility and a terminal with a restaurant that will like as not be subsidized, since the numbers of travelrs just aren’t there to support it. So, what have we got for our tax dollar?
“An $8 million radar system for detecting weather problems more than 100 miles away spins on the southern edge of the property. Murtha had said that the system would create at least a dozen air traffic control jobs, but the state Air National Guard, which was supposed to staff it, said personnel reductions have left the radar unmanned.
A $17.8 million earmark in 2006 from the Defense Department replaced the airport’s 7,000-foot-long asphalt runway with a reinforced concrete bed capable of handling larger civilian and military jets, but it is not being employed for that purpose.
A $6.5 million, three-story National Guard and Reserve training center, resembling a rustic ski lodge, is perched on Airport Road.
A new air traffic control tower was built in 1999 for $6.8 million, after Murtha persuaded Congress to add the project to the federal budget. He also got the funds that year to build the new terminal, where his portrait graces the entrance.
In 1998, at Murtha’s urging, the Marine Corps agreed to move a helicopter unit to Johnstown and constructed a $14 million hangar and training facility at the airport’s southeastern edge.”
Expensive radars with no one watching the screens and a monument to one monstrous ego. This is our tax dollar at work — $200,000,000 over ten years. But, hey — at least the parking is free. It better be — we’ve paid enough for it.
It looks like, with the help of three Republican Senators, making up for three Democrat defectors, the Senate will send a clean Omnibus bill back to the House for passage tonight.
The earmarks are still in but Fox News has the round-up of the top 20 pork project beneficiaries. Byrd once again tops the list by a wide margin. But the other folks at the top of the list are worth noting. West Virginia, Alabama are among the smallest and poorest states. Missouri is … well Missouri. Not poor, but not a state I would expect to be near the top of the list. Click here for the whole story.
Here’s a breakdown of the top 20 earmarking senators and the value of their solo earmarks:
1) Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. — $122,804,900
2) Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. — $114,484,250
3) Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo. — $85,691,491
4) Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. — $76,899,425
5) Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. — $75,908,475
Notice the R’s. The D’s do dominate as you move down the list but for those of us who are looking for fiscal responsibility at a time when we are cutting back ourselves and at a time when Obama has already spent or is about to $3 trillion … we have a steep hill to climb.
Yup … that’s what far left liberal Democrat Debbie Schultz tells Neil Cavuto in this evening’s Cavuto moment. But the best part comes at the end when Schultz says Obama will cut the budget deficit in half in four years. Cavuto says no way and makes Schultz the second best best of the day. Hint – it’s green friendly.
What’s the first best bet of the day? Come on … do you have to ask?
UPDATE: I am an idiot. The credit for this protest, if it were not made plain, lies with the RVO chat room and most especially, I think, Rick from West Hartford. I say I think because I really am not the force behind this today. Rick is and his com-padres who put this together. Without notice, and much organizing help they pulled quite a crowd and that should be a good indicator of how angry people are. Stay fired up folks. 2010 is a year and a half away. Congrats Rick.
Note: This event occurred on Feb. 27.
Here are some of the pictures of today’s tax protest. (Taken with my swell iPhone which I did not buy with stimulus money, or tax redistribution money)
The “push back” against confiscation for pet liberal projects (honey bees, community organizers, grape genetics, bullying and tattoo removal) began today in Hartford, and it was a grassroots effort. The stimulus package stimulates nothing but federal and state governments, while the people who produce the tax revenue were ignored.
Without much publicity up to 250 people came and joined the Connecticut Tea Party rally in front of the state capital. This is just the beginning, the first of a number of rallies the Tea Party plans on holding around the state up until election day. Movements destined for the trash heap start big and fizzle. I can assure you, even in a blue state, today they planted the acorn. To see a lot more go to the gallery.
Or watch the ones below as a slide show in your browser … easier to see.
No need to comment. Neil Cavuto on Fox says it all. Enjoy or not. Read more