Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 28, 2007

DEPT OF POTS AND KETTLES....Way back in April, during the first round of debate on war funding, Bush excoriated lawmakers for "spend[ing] billions of dollars on pork barrel projects and spending that are [sic] completely unrelated to this war." It was one of his more disingenuous complaints -- the president's own war funding proposal included funds for federal prisons, Kosovo debt relief, flood control on the Mississippi, and nutrition programs in Africa, among other things.

Similarly, just a couple of weeks ago, Bush devoted his radio address to complaining about federal spending. "Earmarks are spending provisions that are slipped into bills by individual members of Congress, often at the last hour and without discussion or debate," the president said. "It's not surprising that this leads to unnecessary Federal spending."

It's why the White House should probably find this embarrassing.

Just a few months after blasting the congressional practice of diverting millions in taxpayer dollars to pet projects, President Bush has slipped into current legislation more than 100 so-called "earmarks" worth over $1 billion -- including nearly $6 million for work on the White House. [...]

The president's earmarks, for projects including national park improvements, land purchases and new government facilities, have drawn unusual on-the-record criticism from Republican lawmakers, who typically eschew public displays of disaffection with the White House.

"It would appear the administration likes earmarks from their perspective," Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., told the Hill newspaper, which first reported the White House earmarks. Aderholt is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. He termed the White House stance as "inconsistent," though another Republican, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, told the paper it was "duplicity."

The Bush White House? Duplicitous? Never.

Steve Benen 6:44 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (18)

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Comments

Earmarks for me, but not for thee.

Posted by: junebug on June 28, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Where is Glenn Reynolds' God now?

Posted by: Dr. Anatole Gavage-Huskanoy on June 28, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush White House? Duplicitous?

Kevin, I see once again you've missed the point of what Bush said. As Bush pointed out, "Earmarks are spending provisions that are slipped into bills by individual members of Congress." Since Bush is part of the EXECUTIVE branch and not part of the LEGISLATIVE branch (as Vice-President Dick Cheney is), he is not a member of Congress and cannot slip earmarks into bills. Therefore, Bush cannot slip earmarks into bills at all as you claim he did. Quite simple really when you think about it.

Posted by: Al on June 28, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Good point Al.

As a matter of fact, as Ramesh Ponnuru has so ably and impeccably proved in his book, The Democratic Party, The Party of Death, 51st Amendment explicitly allows the President to include these earmarks into the budget.

Posted by: gregor on June 28, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

How does the President slip earmarks into legislation?

Posted by: nugent on June 28, 2007 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I see once again you've missed the point

Al, misidentifying the author of the posts is egberts schtick.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 28, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Al: "Quite simple really when you think about it."

Funny, that's just what yo' mama says about you. Except that she uses punctuation.

Posted by: Kenji on June 28, 2007 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

The White House is an American shrine. There is nothing wrong with the President allocating 6 million dollars for its upkeep and maintenance. When President Truman practically rebuilt the White House, which was in poor repair, he was defended by democrats and liberals. But now that the President is a Republican, liberals would prefer to see the White House in as shabby a state as possibe. Some of the more extreme would like it to collapse.

Posted by: Al on June 28, 2007 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

I ignore Instapundit as much as possible, but it might be a good time to visit him, and one of his pets "PorkBusters". Do they have the cajones to call Bush on this? I'm betting the answer is NO.

Posted by: lk on June 28, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Kevin,

Things like "federal prisons and flood control on the Mississippi" etc are important.

You wouldn't want to have nowhere to lock up rioters after another New Orleans flood, would you?

Posted by: Bizarro Egbert on June 28, 2007 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

"Dooooplicity you say? Why I nevuh! Suh, you have sullied mah good name and I am honuh bound to challenge you to a dooo-el! I would ask you to draw yoah weapon, suh."

"Very good. Agent, shoot that man!"

Posted by: George W. Bush at Play on June 28, 2007 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Al ... the White House was extensively renovated during the early 1990s. I watched it happen from my office. Took years.

And besides, the point is budgeting this through an EARMARK in an unrelated piece of information. If the White House needs renovations and repairs, why not do this through the normal budgeting process? Why the doubletalk, unless they don't really mean what they are saying?

Posted by: Bokonon on June 28, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's last day in office is in 571 days....59,439,413 of us did not vote for him.

There's a great article in the new RollingStone Magazine. Cool historian Sean Wilentz talks about 1967 and the clamor of protest over the war then. A good point:

"America is once again at a crossroads, just as it was in 1967. The body count from a reckless and deceitful war rises each day, as the administration's credibility declines. The opposition party has picked up seats in Congress. And the coming year's presidential election could be a key moment in settling the deeper conflict that has divided the nation for the past 40 years. In the end, memories of bygone times may not prove the decisive factor. One in three Americans who will be of voting age in 2008 were not even born in 1967--and some 33 million of them will have turned 18 during the presidency of George W Bush. Putting aside the divisions and hatred that have wracked America since the Summer of Love could ultimately rest not on those who were there in the beginning but on how they have transferred the conflicted legacy of the Sixties to their children--and on thow those children reshape the legacy in the post-9/11 world."

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 28, 2007 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

59,439,413 of us did not vote for him.

Hell, a lot more than that didn't vote for him. That's just the number of people who voted against him.

Posted by: Seitz on June 28, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

What %(40?) of military spending is essentially earmarks(or worse) for 'security' reasons? Does anyone not involved really know where this money goes? I can't imagine that a single Founding Father, regardless of how anti-egalitarian, would not be abhorred by this.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on June 29, 2007 at 4:59 AM | PERMALINK

prev post should say 'would not abhor this'. DOH.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on June 29, 2007 at 5:07 AM | PERMALINK

Bush talking about fiscal responsibility is like an old whore talking about the importance of chastity. It is vulgar to even listen to. As an example, there have been $362 billion in no-bid contracts issued by the Pentagon in last seven years.

Want to know which government agency has the most waste and corruption?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 29, 2007 at 6:38 AM | PERMALINK

Want to know which government agency has the most waste and corruption?

The Cheney Branch?

Posted by: tomeck on June 29, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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