Tuesday, January 29, 2008

W wins again-earmark reform.

Last night President Bush just might just have inflicted his most cutting blow on the Ds. Now that the Dems control Congress they have accessed the incumbents’ secret weapon, earmarks.

Damascus Nancy, Dingy Harry and ABSCAM Jack spent the first six years of the Bush Presidency attacking the GOP for an earmark funded culture of corruption. Upon gaining control of Congress W didn’t interfere much with the Democrat spending. The Administration won the big budget battle but otherwise allowed the Democrat leadership to increase earmarks by more than 600%.

Last night, in a brilliant election year move, W stopped the earmarks in their tracks. Congress can appropriate the money but the President spends it and W said he won’t. Moreover, the Administration even limited Congressional ability to earmark above the table, before appropriations bills are submitted for a floor vote by threatening vetoes of bills that haven’t pared the earmarks contained therein by at least 50%.

Taking the high road against a detested and corrupt practice is always good politics. It is purely brilliant politics when that deadly veto pen can be used by a lame duck President to block every election year payoff while simultaneously illuminating the details and authors thereby turning a traditional strength of incumbency into a perilous weakness. What if the President used the bully pulpit to hammer Dems by name, especially ABSCAM Jack Murtha, the true Earmark King, a few times a week for theirs obscene spending projects.

One can only muse at the gnashing of teeth and rending or clothes that occurred when Damascus Nancy, Dingy Harry and the Earmark King, ABSCAM Jack Murtha started musing on the latent budget hawk in George W. Bush at last night’s SoU after parties. If the look on Speaker Pelosi’s face when the President described the earmark reforms he was exclusively implementing through his Article II powers. The blinks increased to several a minute and, shortly thereafter began pouring through some written materials.

That’s a pretty loud quack for a lame duck.


Anonymous said...

So how many of those are Dem earmarks and how many are Repub earmarks?

spotlight on hypcocrisy said...

Bush is a latent budget hawk, alright. Also a hypocritical budget hawk.

Anonymous said...

I'm still amazed that the party of Nussle will suddenly find fiscal restraint...when in the minority. You klowns had half a decade of consolidated power in DC and America has record deficits and, another, recession during the Bush administration to show for it. Please, stop with the fiscal diatribe and screams hollow

The Real Sporer said...

Anon 4:19

I will concede that Republicans didn't do a good job with spending in the last six years of the majority.

As we are seeing, nothing like the Dems want but not good by Republican standards.

However, the "record deficits" are absurd. Deficits are only relevant as a percentage of GDP, and they are much smaller than Bubba and the D gang proposed last time the Dems ran the whole government.

Moreoever, the deficit has shrunk much faster than the utterly pessimistic media depicts and we have had record federal revenues the last several successive years.

Track with the facts Brother. That's all we ask.

Art A Layman said...


Fact checking is always an interesting exercise. Maybe you should have looked back to the 19th century to see if you could find comparables there as well.

Or maybe talk to the entire deficit not just the annual numbers; plus $4 trillion under Bush?

The best you can get out of this scenario is that Bush is not stupid, just a slow learner. And that's a shaky premise at that.

Art A Layman said...


An additional thought.

Deficits are only relevant as a percentage of GDP

That is a profound statement. A profoundly stupid one.

It is tantamount to saying that a firm's losses are only relevant as a percentage of their gross sales.

Ratios to GDP serve as a comparative tool to evaluate performance from one period to another. Deficits are relevant despite their percentage to GDP.

Though deficits add to GDP through increased government spending their negative effects are manifested in two significant arenas.

First, as the cumulative deficit grows the debt service adds further pressure to balancing the budget without cuts potentially injurious to GDP.

Second, the need for government borrowing to finance the deficits robs the credit markets of funds which private industry might more productively utilize.

Certainly deficits can be good in a time of recessionary pressures as well as when marginal enough to offset "fiscal drag".

Your argument leads to the logical conclusion that as long as GDP increases then a corresponding increase in deficits, maintaining a constant or declining ratio, creates no problem. If that premise is true then "earmarks", considering multiplier effects, which add to GDP proportionately with their deficit impact are in fact a good thing.

The saving grace is that any problems arising from huge deficits can be solved by cutting taxes. So sayeth the Reaganites.

Perhaps posts from you on law and politics can add more value than your meanderings into the field of economics.

Anonymous said...

Art the fart,

Do you realize how stupid you come off when you try to be intellectual?

Art A Layman said...

anonymous 4:45:

I can understand your feelings.

Am sure that you feel yourself a reasonably bright person and your salutation only underscores that premise. Therefore in your mind when you read something and you can't understand it, the writer must be stupid. A perfectly logic conclusion.

I have a similar problem when studying Quantum Physics.

Anonymous said...

We need to all bow down to the fellow with split personalities and delusions of grandeur.