Republicans moving to restore earmarks


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Idiots: Senate Republicans are pushing for a secret vote tomorrow that will propose restoring earmarks.

Senate Republicans are poised to restore earmarks unless opponents muster the votes to stop them in a secret ballot Tuesday. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, is under severe pressure from his members and has agreed to study the issue. “Very tone-deaf,” Mr. Coburn told The Washington Times. “I’d love to know who the smart guys are in the Republican conference who want to do this.”

Earmarks increase spending. Right now we have a spending problem in the federal government, which is also the hammer that government uses to wield its out-of-control power over the citizenry. Doing anything that increases that spending thus increases that power and is entirely counter to the overall sense of the electorate that voted in November.

Coburn is right. This is very tone-deaf, and incredibly stupid.

12 comments

  • PeterF

    Yet another reason that ALL (federal, state, and local) elected politicians should be subject to term limits. We can figure out how to deal with the unelected bureaucrats who would be tested to take over in the aftermath later. Maybe require them to wear cement overshoes while deep sea fishing with random voters would convince them to stay in line?

  • wayne

    PeterF–
    right with you on term-limits.

    Correct me if I’m mistaken– “Earmarking” was a procedural rule of the House, until they changed it in what- 2010?, and not a Law per se. In that the House can change their rules without asking the Senate or DJT.

    Unfortunately that Times article doesn’t go deeper. As Colburn says–
    exactly whom are these “Republicans are pushing for a secret vote tomorrow…?”
    and “Ryan is under severe pressure from his members and has agreed to study the issue.”
    He’s the Speaker. Is he for or against this? What does he need to “study?” Is he under pressure to slip it through, or kill-it?
    He wants to have his cake, & eat it, and bill the rest of us. (I have no doubt Rence & Mitch want earmarks back on behalf of the House, they just don’t want to be directly linked to them.)
    >Ryan will be against it, before he was for it, before he was against it, again and again.

    There are no “secret votes” unless Paul Ryan says so.

    I would note– the conservative-faction in the House, is a distinct minority among the Republicans.

    (Is the Export Import Bank, still alive?)

  • PeterF: I would much prefer term limits on federal bureaucrats. If we force politicians to resign, even if they are good ones, we are actually robbing ourselves of our power of voting for or against them.

    Much better if we loosen up the federal laws that make bureaucrats immune to firing. Let the new set of politicians sweep the house clean quickly and simply. Let these bureaucrats find other work, as it is they who are unelected and thus have been abusing their authority under the Constitution.

  • Cotour

    Related, because this is who seems to be setting up for the 2020 presidential race as a Bernie Sanders pandering “progressive”:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/lovett-gov-cuomo-state-state-appears-directed-u-s-article-1.2941901

    I do not think he will play well much beyond the New York State borders. The other day he announced his plans, with “progressive” Bernie Sanders right behind him on the stage, to offer “free” college to all for family’s with less than $125K in income at a “free” cost to the tune of $163 MILLION dollars per year to the tax payers. Thats about $1 BILLION dollars over 6 years. Every 6 years.

    This instead of creating some form of financial scheme using tax money with say some very low interest rates that could be borrowed and paid back into the public coffers. No, its all “free”.

    Cuomo has in the recent weeks, raised the minimum wage to approaching the dream of $15.00, has been a rabid publicity hound opening a new subway line and in general very plainly is starting his presidential run in a Democrat field that is soooo weak and old that he probably sees himself has the default go to candidate.

    I don’t see it, but thats me.

  • D. Ray

    Coburn should be president

  • PeterF

    Bob,
    I agree that lifetime term limits rob us of the power to re-elect good politicians. My position is that any politician that is term limited should be required to sit out one term before running again for the same office.
    That plus removing the defacto lifetime “tenure” of bureaucrats and public sector unions will do much to restoring citizen control of our government.

    I fully support an article five convention of the states.

  • wayne

    PeterF;
    Fully support an Article 5 Convention of States. (And actively working toward such.)
    These people are incapable & unwilling to reform themselves, ever.
    The Federal government was created by the States and only the States can reign it in. Senators were supposed to be elected by & accountable to, their respective State Legislators. Why do we need the Senate if they aren’t accountable to their States?

    The President is term-limited, and that’s a relatively recently development. (I’m sure a lot of people wanted to elect Obama to a 3rd term. Holy cow– we had FDR hang onto the job like a Pope.)
    We have Supreme Court Justices & Senators, that have Alzheimer’s.
    > Anyone heard from Thad Cochran recently? Of course not– he doesn’t even know what year it is, or where his office is anymore. (Ruth Buzzy Ginsburg… anyone here really think she knows what’s going on anymore?)

    We are absolutely within striking distance. 20 States have already passed Model Legislation.
    And an Article 5 totally cuts out Washington DC, they play zero role other than to publish a Notice informing the separate States a Convention is being called.

    Mark Levin speaks to the Convention of States organizers.
    (November 2015)
    https://youtu.be/n3o_wSZbrJY
    (34:35)
    >15 minute speech followed by 20 minutes of Q&A.

  • ken anthony

    An article 5 convention is dangerous. We have too many people in this country that believe America is the bad guy and they have lots of practice making rules that harm America.

    Give Trump some time to clean out the bureaucrats first.

  • wayne

    Ken–
    I must disagree with you. (and that’s OK, you have a lot of good input that I do agree with.)
    Cautiously optimistic on Trump myself & I do hope he does a lot of what he promised to do.

    In the meantime, I’m all-in on a Convention of States myself.

    Doesn’t matter who is in charge anymore, these people have clearly demonstrated to me they are incapable of controlling themselves or the Administrative State they have enshrined as the 4th branch of Government.
    DJT at best, would be a brief respite. Even Reagan could only slow the tide so much.
    If he actually believes 1/2 of what he says, I would put forth– he would support this movement. It would added political leverage for him.

    Procedurally– each State legislature agrees (or not) to propose a State Convention meeting for the consideration of proposing amendment’s under Article 5.
    The Convention would then meet. Procedural rules would then be agreed upon, as would the manner and scope of the proposed Amendment’s, in advance.
    Then each amendment would be debated and voted upon by the State delegate’s.
    At that point, proposed amendment’s would then be sent back to each State for individual ratification.
    Same voting requirements as any other Amendment(s) that have been adopted in the past, except this completely cuts out the Federal Government. The Feds would play zero role, this would be entirely up to the States.

    Just take a look at Article 5, section 2 for yourself.

    The Convention of States people have Model Uniform Legislation already passed by 20 States. They held a day long “simulation” last Summer to get an idea of procedural issues that might arise, and it’s truly bottom up grass roots.

    This is the last legal, non-violent, methodology left to reign in the Feds.

    check out–
    http://www.conventionofstates.com/

  • Edward

    wayne wrote: “These people are incapable & unwilling to reform themselves, ever.

    It is like the movie “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,” in which the new senator is enthusiastic and ethical, but the old senator is uncaring and corrupt. From all indications, this happens to all of our career politicians, because this is what happens when humans acquire power. Some have assumed (in both senses of the word) or tried to assume absolute power. Obama did the former, and Nixon and FDR tried. We know what power does, and we know what absolute power does. We have recently been reminded of what people will do when they believe that they can get away with abusing power and breaking laws; some of them will even run for president. (Which reminds me, how is that Clinton prosecution coming along?)

    Self-reformation is impossible for those corrupted by positions of power. It is an addiction, like a drug. There are studies finding that corruption can cause oxytocin to be released into the body.

    We were never intended to have professional politicians. However, we learned the fallacy of our ability to vote them out of office, when the politicians discovered that they can remain in power virtually forever, even though they are corrupt, merely by doling largess from the treasury. What Alexander Fraser Tytler said is true. The Late Senator Byrd of West Virginia is an example.

    When the Democrats abused the process and passed the PPACA (which is the original law, not the law as Obama is enforcing it), they did so because they thought that they could retain power despite the corruption in the process and the tyranny in the law. That many Democrats were reelected despite voting for the law shows that We the People are not vigilant against tyranny.

    Robert Zimmerman wrote: “I would much prefer term limits on federal bureaucrats. If we force politicians to resign, even if they are good ones, we are actually robbing ourselves of our power of voting for or against them.

    FDR showed that he could get reelected many times despite his poor policies, which prolonged the Great Depression, and Obama is certain that he could have been reelected again, had the Constitution allowed it. We don’t really have the power of voting against them if we have become victims of their doling largess from the treasury in order to buy our votes.

    That federal bureaucrats have a great deal of power despite the longevity of corrupt politicians shows that even career politicians are unable to control the bureaucrats. Thus, term limits on politicians does not cure the corruption of our career bureaucrats, but neither does the career politician.

    Keeping politicians in power does nothing for us, but it allows for collaboration and conspiracy between the politicians and the bureaucrats. This is what we have been seeing, now that bureaucrats have unionized; they donate to the politicians who increase their wages, drawn from the public treasury, which feeds the union, which donates to the politicians.

    Indeed, the career politician merely becomes disconnected with the population that he is supposed to represent. Rather than living among the rest of us, all he sees is the constituents who come to him to solve problems. He slowly gets the false ideas that the real world is nothing but problems and that only he can solve them. In order to solve them, he has to stay in power, and that results in his becoming corrupted by the power.

    Term limits on federal bureaucrats may be a help in solving the corruption of the over-powered, corrupted bureaucrats, but it will not solve the problem of the corrupted career politicians.

    Government needs a healthy rotation of staff at every level, where public service at all levels is not a career. We need our public servants to come from We the People and to go back to being We the People. This is the only way for our government to be by the people and of the people so that it can be for the people, to ensure that such a government does not perish from the Earth.

  • Vladislaw

    Same thing happened under Reagan and Bush 43. Slash revenues with tax cuts and then spend like drunken sailors and skyrocket the deficits and then blame the whole thing on democrats. Wash, Rinse, Repeat

  • Edward

    Nice try, Vladislaw, but I was there. Tax rates were cut, but revenues skyrocketed.

    And why not blame overspending on the Democrats? The House of Representatives was run by Democrats, and that is where every single spending bill originates. It’s in the Constitution. Back then, the Senate was also controlled by Democrats. Without the line-item veto, the president is stuck with whatever is in the spending bills that the Democrats send to him, including earmarks and pork-barrel spending. Reagan even shut down the government several times in his attempts to get the Democrats to spend within the US’s means.

    But instead, we get revisionist history lessons from people who don’t know what they are talking about. Once they see that their lying tactic works, they do it some more.

    Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

    Meanwhile, tax cuts always result in improved economies, which result in increased tax revenues. It may not be intuitive, but it is basic economics.

    In fact, Bastiat wrote “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen,” which describes a few counter-intuitive economic cases.
    http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

    The first one, “The Broken Window” shows how what would seem to be an increase in economic activity, hiring a glazier to replace a broken window, does not increase the economy or the prosperity of the community as much as one might at first believe. It meant that the baker had less money to spend on other items that would have increased the value of assets owned within the community/world. Replacing the window only brought that value back to where it had been.

    Taxes are similar. High taxes remove monies that people would have had to spend on goods and services. Thus higher taxes reduces the prosperity of the country. Lower taxes allows for more spending by the public, more economic activity, and more tax revenue due to that increased economic activity. But you didn’t see that part of what happened, did you, Vladislaw? You only saw the part where lower taxes must necessarily mean lower revenues, because you are one of those who thinks that there is only so much money to go around, and if I have more, then you must necessarily have less.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkXI-MNSb8Q (What We Believe, Part 3: Wealth Creation; 10 minutes)

    Once you understand that wealth literally is created from thin air, you will see that reduced taxes can and does result in increased revenue.

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