This is a step in the right direction at curbing spending. You have to start somewhere and pork-barrel spending is a good place to start. While the numbers involved aren’t huge, in relation to total spending, at the very least it means that the GOP is listening and starting to take heed. Usually, one isn’t apt to take a lone stance against accepting earmarks, because the self-serving rationale often used is that if everyone else is still doing it, your constituents are paying for the pork of others and getting nothing in return. Sure, they’ll sometimes talk about it, but usually won’t actually turn any earmarks down. It’s also why pork-barrel spending lends itself very easily to corruption, which is the larger issue.
At least, that’s what the status quo has been. Until now:
House Republicans approved a conference-wide moratorium on earmarks on Thursday, one day after a House committee enacted a ban on for-profit earmarks. The Republicans’ moratorium is more extensive than the House Appropriations Committee’s ban in that it applies to all earmarks for all members of the caucus.
House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) hailed the decision in an interview on Fox News. “Republicans did something very dramatic today that’s going to make it very uncomfortable for business as usual,” he said. “So now House Republicans are going to the American people and saying we want a clean break from the runaway spending in the past. And that’s going to be quite a contrast from this Congress and the administration.”
Senate Republicans appeared receptive to the House’s proposal Thursday.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) offered a one-year moratorium on earmarks on the Senate floor as the House Republicans were taking their vote. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) specifically complimented the House’s plan in a Twitter post.
This helps the GOP regain some of it’s lost fiscal conservative and ethical cred. It also shows that they aren’t just all talk, but are now trying to act. We are being heard and they are listening. A big, if not the biggest, issue at the tea parties and the town halls across the land was out of control spending. Irresponsible spending that can’t be solved by silly little “Bi-Partisan Commissions on Debt.”
Granted, I don’t have the economics prowess of, say, a Community Organizer, but it seems to me that the first step to figuring out why you are in so much debt is learning to stop spending money that you do not have. Also, stop taking more and more of other people’s money in an attempt to compensate. Perhaps, the tea parties and the town hall meetings were truly teachable moments. This was the first quiz.
Hopefully, the GOP is on their way to acing the entire course. Hope and change, baby.