(Via Ace Of Spades) Purple Avenger notes that the earmark veto was "kidnapped, murdered, and chucked into some Washington D.C. version of a shallow grave where anything showing a whiff of spine or honesty is summarily dumped."
It reminds me of a political cartoon that has a human spine in a corner of a room. A bunch of donkeys are look at it and are in shock. The captain reads: "MY GOD! WHAT IS IT!?"
The National Journal had a draft of the SOTU, which read in part:
...And because the American people deserve to know that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet projects, both parties in Congress should know this: if a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it...
Then this is what he said:
Tonight, I'm calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single Web site before there's a vote, so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.
Oh wow... A website. How quaint.
Of course the veto vow was deleted. To say it in the State Of The Union Address would give Conservatives and the Tea Party more ammo to use earmarks against Democrats.
To think Barack Obama would take a stand on earmarks, would to forget the last two years. He's always talked a good game on earmarks, but has never followed through. Now he is offering as reform to put earmarks on some website? Who's going to pay for this website? Are there not groups not already out there doing that already?
I think earmarks should be banned outright. If there needs to be a road or library or post office or whatever needs to be built, then by all means let it go through the normal committee process. That is where real daylight will be done. Let's put all this spending to a vote and in it's own spending bill. If there is a real need for such spending, then it should be able to stand on it's own.
Tonight I am going to my local REC meeting and we are going to be going over the budget for 2011. The Executive Board draws one up and then presents it to the rest of the Executive Committee with what they have. We are then given the opportunity to ask them questions about the budget and then go on the record with a vote. While I do have a question, I intend to vote in the postive for the budget. While some items last year went over budget, over all, the committee came under budget and I hope that trend holds for this year. I have to wonder, why can't we hold the federal government to the same bloody standard?