Friday, December 17, 2010

Why NOT Earmarks!?

Hawaii lost $321 million of earmarked federal funding yesterday after the U.S. Senate abandoned a $1.3 trillion appropriations bill, leaving 141 projects left to forge for funding elsewhere. This is a big deal.

As my last post focused on, Senator John McCain led a charge against the bill and dissed many meaningful projects across the nation while doing so, including $300,000 funding for the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

But funding for these projects are comparatively frugal as the Economist points out in an article posted on Wednesday,

"YESTERDAY John McCain, or one of his aides, informed the world via Twitter of his intention to make a speech calling for cutting the federal deficit by eliminating earmarks.

SenJohnMcCain 6:25am via Web

Heading 2 the floor 2 talk about the $1.1 Trillion 1924 page omnibus spending bill that includes 6488 earmarks totaling nearly $8.3 billion

The mathematically literate reader will note that $8.3 billion is less than 1% of $1.1 trillion."

The republicans slam this bill as wasteful spending by the government counteractive to their goal of reducing the federal deficit. On the flip-side, the republicans ironically led the passage of a major tax-cut extension, primarily for the wealthy, that will cost the nation approximately $858 billion, over 100 times more than the earmarks. They were successful at this and Obama is signing it as I type. See some hypocracy here?

Sure, some might argue that with an extension of these cuts, Reagonomics may EVENTUALLY come into play and benefit workers and the economy as a whole. But supply-side economics has never been shown to be more reliable, or better able to foster a robust, national economy, than thriving State economies--and by subsidizing sustainable fishing initiatives, farming productivity improvement research, and other means of intellectual capitol, the humble earmarks in the Senate Appropriations Bill did just this. If my reasoning seems sketchy to you, I'm open to comments and criticism.

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