Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Revolution is Coming

Did you hear that giant sucking sound? That was another $410 billion dollars going down the drain today compliments of 229 Democrats and 16 Republicans who voted for the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

I'm sort of with Ed at Hot Air on this one. I doubt that one person in a hundred on the street could identify an earmark in either Porkulus or Omnibus.

Is it true, as Ed says, and even as one of my commentors said, that Americans just don't care about the earmarks? Are they just such a part of politics that we assume it is business as usual and don't pay attention?

The hypocrisy of it all just slays me. Obama has the gall to tolerate this from Congress, not veto earmarks, and at the same time hold a "Fiscal Responsibility Summit"? Seriously? From Obama's On The Issues site:

Shine Light on Earmarks and Pork Barrel Spending: Obama's Transparency and Integrity in Earmarks Act will shed light on all earmarks by disclosing the name of the legislator who asked for each earmark, along with a written justification, 72 hours before they can be approved by the full Senate.

He promised earmark reform. He promised to go through and veto "line by line" any earmarks in legislation that crossed his desk. Did he do that in the Stimulus bill? Of course not. When asked, he said that if those expenditures were in the bill all along then they were not earmarks. Shell game.

Please tell me how the garbage in the Omnibus bill is not defined as earmarks? Tattoo removal? Honeybee Insurance? Star-gazing in Hawaii? There are close to 9000 earmarks in the Omnibus bill.

Yet we're going to cut back on military spending and scale back in Afghanistan and Iraq.

If the economy is SO bad, and if we are going to spend all this money to rescue irresponsible home owners who made poor decisions about home loans, and if we are going to nationalize banks, and if we are going to bailout the auto manufacturers, and if we are going to keep pouring more money down this black hole of irresponsibility and poor decision making, why not fund earmarks for Brown Tree Snake Management or North Pole Wastewater Management?

If you're keeping count that's almost a TRILLION in Porkulus, now $410 billion in Omnibus. We haven't even gotten to the next TARP which is coming, or the $634 billion health care package which is coming.

Exit question? Where in the hell does it stop? Does it ever?

Exit question 2: You think he's going to do all this and NOT raise YOUR taxes?

Oh wait, I know. I'm supposed to suck it up because it's for the greater good? Sounds like socialism to me.


NeNe said...

again - he doesn't see them as earmarks - he believes in them as things that due to what he believes they'll bring - will bring relief and growth - so he sees them as necessary

truly - and Jindal sort of mentioned this - the basic philosophy of what is good for this country is so PROFOUNDLY different btw the Republicans and Democrats right now- there will NEVER be a middle ground

I think that b/c Obama is very left in his philosophies comparatively - (though centrist in his listening and discussing) - that this is the best thing to rile up the Republicans (and it is) and get them to freak out enough to get going on realizing they have to reach the people again on THEIR philosophies

being the extreme right that you are - as you know - you will continue to be supremely frustrated by all of it - i can only imagine

but realize (and I'm sure you do) a lot of folks lost their mind over Bush b/c he was so very right on a lot of things **shrug**

extremes - tough for some folks.


NeNe said...

oh -and I'm not saying I don't disagree with some of his stuff - but a good example is that tattoo removal - many on the left do believe that by allowing folks to remove gang insignias - they can get on with their lives into a more productive (better for them, better for the country) way - and that it is a significant thing when seen from a broader scope

i get how you can trivialize it as so not important - but some truly do see it as a step to something greater and necessary

again - i don't agree with all of them - but i do at least "hear" the other side

NeNe said...

ok - yeah - i should have been more concise - sorry for all the replies

it IS a form of socialism :) it's a shame everyone's so scard to say it - but it is - and i think many believe some form of it is necessary to get the country to be healthy enough to have a shot at being capitalist fully again (though some would argue a hybrid of two is more reasonable)


Pat said...

"- many on the left do believe that by allowing folks to remove gang insignias - they can get on with their lives into a more productive (better for them, better for the country) way - and that it is a significant thing when seen from a broader scope"

Philosophically this may be true, even psychologically it may be true.

Why should the government pay for some gang-banger to get his tattoo removed? His poor decision? My price tag?

Rick said...

It's been a long time since I last got on your blog. I have been real busy as of late because I've been working alot in the oil fields. We are doing ok for now, but that may soon change.
I agree with you about your views on paying for misstakes other people make.
I have done some pretty screwed up things in my life, but I'm paying for them and wouldn't expect anyone else to pay for them. But people in this world has no pride anymore and expect other to clean up after them, and most of the people are on the left.
I live in a ratty old house that I pay for, no one else. I pisses me off to think that there is someone who makes less money than me living in a house a hell of a lot better than mine, but won't pay for it, because they know there are people like me who are being forced by the government to pay for their screw ups.
Once again, it is good to read your stuff again.

Anonymous said...

Socialism, Socialism, Socialism. There's a difference between Socialism and attempting to operate a healthy society. The suggestion that any public money which somehow ends up directly benefiting another member of society, or heaven forbid, another member of society who's made a bad decision in life, is ABSOLUTELY INSANE and demonstrates a narrow view of the way societies REALLY work. Whether you believe it or not, it benefits YOU whenever YOUR tax dollars educate someone you'll never meet, or pay to put out the fire in your neighbor's home, or retrain high school dropouts or ex-offenders, or provide healthcare to veterans or the elderly or the millions or people who work, follow the law, but still can't afford to go to a doctor. It's called the price of living in a society. You are apart or it, you're not alone. I have no kids, should i be angry at YOU for having multiple kids who'll suck up my hard earned dollars with their public education and eventual use of social security and medicare? No, because, not having kids is MY choice, and living in a society where people are allowed to make their own decisions is MY choice. If i wanted to keep all my hard earned dollars to myself i'd move to a country where there is no public tax, no public education, and little or no infrastructure to discuss.

Additionally, the suggestion that the housing bailout is the fault of those who made poor decisions about purchasing a home is more insanity. The banks were giving bad mortgages away, left and right, to people who were "subprime". Investors wouldn't buy 1 of these mortgages from the banks, but they'd buy 100 bundled at a discount rate. These subprime mortgage holders DIDN'T ALL OF A SUDDEN STOP PAYING THEIR MORTGAGES....they weren't deadbeats. Eventually INVESTORS STOPPED BUYING the bundled mortgages from the banks because they became skeptical of their inflated worth. The banks were left holding billions of dollars of mortgages they couldn't get rid of.....meaning, their capital was locked up in these toxic assets. Banks, without capital, can't lend money and THERE is the cause of the credit crunch, resulting in PERFECTLY VIABLE businesses going belly-up left and right, people out of work, blah blah blah. To make matters worse, AIG (amongst others) created their own insurance market over the past few years (credit default swaps), by selling insurance to banks and investors, guaranteeing that these subprimes would not default. They were selling insurance in an UNREGULATED market, so they were able to sell policies at rates which they could NEVER payback if these mortgages EVER defaulted. It didn't take long after people started losing their jobs and business started closing for mortgages to go into default, policy holders turn to the insurance companies for payment, and then we have AIG going bankrupt. So if you think this is all about the public buying houses too big for their income, you're greatly underestimating how much the Wealthiest and most powerful CEOs, Bankers, Insurers and Investors in this country played games with our economy. Blame it on your neighbor if you like, but you should be looking up the food chain.

The irony is that the right has argued for soooo long that we need small government that just stays the hell out of the way of the markets and people's lives. "The markets, not government, will save us and make us prosperous". If you for one second believe that this meltdown is not the direct outcome of uncontrolled free markets, you're being delusional. Companies, CEOs, bankers, and people with a hell of alot more money than the average american played a game with the market and cashed out, retired to million dollar homes and left the rest of the country with a mess. And NOW, we see the Republicans stand and applaud when Obama says the party is over for the financial markets and stiffer regulation is on its way. What an about-face.

So, all of this talk of socialism is soooo off-the-mark. YOU'RE LIVING FREE MARKETS RIGHT NOW. 10% unemployment, great disparities in wealth, and an economy susceptible to the whims of those with power over the market....THAT's free markets.

Sarah said...

When the right wants to help people, their first thought is to form private organizations, go through church groups, school groups, community groups, etc. When the left wants to help people, their first thought is make a law, get the gov. involved.

Guess which one has always proven more successful? Guess which side has been proven most generous?

Hurricane Katrina was a prime example of this - whether you are talking about the reaction of the every day people or the difference between the leaders in Miss. & LA.

My point is, if liberals want to help people get their tattoos removed so they can get on with life -GREAT!! Why can't private citizens come up with some sort of plan or organization? There are lots of lefties with lots of money and even those who don't can help organize! I am not rich by any means but I do a lot for other people and for issues I care about.

I have no interest in paying for that when I know our military guys don't always get the equipment they need or our kids don't have enough computers in their schools or whatever.

As for a little socialism being necessary, ask anyone who lived in Cuba both pre/post Castro how they feel about that. I think people in our country have become so spoiled and unaware that they honestly do not realize how much is and can be taken away from them. That's not a left/right issue, that's a common sense issue.

NeNe said...

i think you pay for a lot of people's choices in America - truly - whether you want to or not - this is just the first time you have such transparency you are truly aware what you're "paying" for

have you ever thought about what gets paid for by others for your or your life? (speaking in big spectrums)

like i said - i don't agree with all of them either - just saying it's not as B&W as "hey so and so wants to remove a tattoo" - it was deeper thought than that with a bigger motive in mind and i was just pointing that out


NeNe said...

oh - and it suprises me not at all conservative writer writes of the fact that you can track more charitable money spent by the Republican side - they make more money in the aggregate from my conception of who is a Republican in this country (though I do realize a huge part of that party is rural and perhaps not) - but either way- that hardly holds water with me - that book or that idea. i think you cannot deny the charitable sweat of the left