I'm sick of the government saying one thing and doing the exact opposite. With that in mind, I'm going to starting naming names by pointing out specific lawmakers who don't say what they mean and mean what they say.
Take this $410 billion omnibus spending bill, which Taxpayers for Common Sense says includes about 9,000 earmarks that add up to $7.8 billion.
Call it earmarks, pork or, like Congress does "special projects," you and I know it when you see it — which makes what President Obama has been saying lately ring hollow:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA — SEPTEMBER 22, 2008: The truth is, our earmark system in Washington is fraught with abuse. It badly needs reform — which is why I didn't request a single earmark last year, why I've released all my previous requests for the public to see, and why I've pledged to slash earmarks by more than half when I am president of the United States of America.
THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA — SEPTEMBER 26, 2008: Absolutely, we need earmark reform. And when I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA — FEBRUARY 9, 2009: But when they start characterizing this as pork, without acknowledging that there are no earmarks in this package — something, again, that was pretty rare over the last eight years — then you get a feeling that maybe we're playing politics instead of actually trying to solve problems for the American people.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA — FEBRUARY 24, 2009: I'm proud that we passed the recovery plan free of earmarks.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
Does President Obama think America is too stupid to see what's really going on, or does he think like Chuck Schumer?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: And let me say this, to all of the chattering class that so much focuses on those little, tiny — yes, "porky" amendments — the American people really don't care."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Either way, Obama's wrong.
Is the most powerful man in the world incapable of controlling his own party? He can't keep them from spending on worthy projects like: $1.2 million to fund mosquito trapping in Gainesville, Florida, (requested by Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro); $238,000 for Hawaiian canoe trips (sponsored by Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye) and $143,000 for the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid added in.
But this isn't just a problem with the left; it's left and right. Two weeks ago, Republican leader Michael Steele looked me in the eyes and said this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: You don't need to tell the Democrats that they stink. You need the Republicans to actually apply the principles in their lives every single day.
MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: Absolutely. Absolutely, and the way I do that, Glenn, is by getting up in their face. I've got to go back to my base, and I've got to make sure that we're grooming the candidates who understand those principles and apply those principles in their leadership, whether legislative office or whatever they're doing that has that Republican brand attached to it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
But where is Steele now? Why isn't he coming out against members of his own party, naming names and holding their feet to the fire?
Instead he released this statement, presumably to attack the donkeys that are responsible for $4.6 billion of pork, or 60 percent of the crap loaded into the latest budget: "Governor Jindal and I continued our party's fight for reform as the Democrats proposed more wasteful spending and bigger government."
I'm no mathematician, but I am a thinker. If Democrats are responsible for 60 percent of the pork, then isn't Steele's own party responsible for the other 40 percent?
Since Steele doesn't seem to have the guts to do it, allow me to point out some of the worst Republican hypocrites:
California Congressman Jerry Lewis, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, would spend $3.8 million on a highway in Needles, California; Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander and Senator Bob Corker, both of Tennessee, requested $1.1 million for water treatment plant improvements in their home state; and Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, the top Republican on Senate appropriations, backs earmarks including a $950,000 nature education center in his state.
Say what you mean, and mean what you say. It doesn't seem like a lot to ask, but, apparently, it is. So now it's time to hold our leaders' feet to the fire.
That's why I'm kicking off a new segment on the program, called "Explain Your Special Projects." After all, if you want Americans to pay almost $4 million for a California highway, then you damn well better be willing to explain why.
And, if you won't or can't, then, well, you may have cost us some money, but we'll make it our mission to cost you your next election.
What do you think? Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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