FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

Tuesday

Pork Spending

Because I am no shill for the Republican Party, I have no problem admitting this. Both Democrats and Republicans are equally guilty of wasting our money in order to buy votes. It’s called pork barrel spending, and it is a staple of politics in Washington. Need I remind you that it was a Republican who proposed the $315 million “bridge to nowhere,” while it was the Democrats who hid in a war appropriations bill more than $220 million to be spent on things like peanut storage, spinach production, and the shrimp industry.

These people are wasting our money.

However, last month, there seemed to be a slight chance of hope for curbing this earmark spending. House Republicans urged the Democrats to join them in an immediate moratorium on earmark spending. The Democrats refused. No one was going to stop them from wasting tax payer dollars on their pet projects.

Of course, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has argued that Democrats have adopted “tough” earmark reforms and will reduce the number of pork barrel projects (both of which are provably false).

So, the Republicans decided to hold them to that promise. They established a website called Earmark Reform, which would serve as a hub of information regarding GOP efforts to hold Democrats accountable for their earmark policies. It would offer a modicum of transparency into the pork-barrel spending habits of the Congressional majority.

The website was launched on February 12. Nine days later, on February 21, House Republican leader John Boehner was ordered by Democrats to shut the website down. In a letter sent to him by House Democrats, Boehner was told that the website violated House rules and must be shut down and moved to a different location with a different domain name.

It is strange, however, that the Democrats did not mention that the website violated House rules when they approved the URL last August.

The truth of the matter is that Democrats know that moving the URL of the website will confuse visitors to the website, and, most likely, result in decreased traffic. I guess things were getting just a little too transparent for them.

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