The ‘no-pork’ pledge

Our GOP Congresmen are split.

The Georgia delegation, which has long presented a unified front in seeking such federal assistance, is now in disarray over the effort. The five members who have sworn off earmarks say they are protesting bloated federal spending, particularly the practice of senior lawmakers doling out projects and grants to constituents and private companies. The system has caused an “erosion of spending oversight,” said Rep. Tom Price of Roswell.

Joining him on the “no earmarks” wagon are Paul Broun of Athens, Nathan Deal of Gainesville, John Linder of Duluth and Lynn Westmoreland of Grantville. Georgia has by far the most on the list of 39 House members who have taken that position.

14 comments

  1. Broun is smart. Why get some obscure earmark for UGA that only 10 people will know about when you can spend government money for ‘non campaign’ purposes and communicate directly with every voter to tell them what you’re up to.

    Congrats Red State. You’ve picked a real ethical guy.

  2. DMZDave says:

    If you are a member of Congress and you truly believe that some GS-12 budget analyst knows better than you how money should be spent in your Congressional district, you should man up and admit it and take the “no pork” pledge.

  3. Dave Bearse says:

    The 200o-2006 period of tax cuts for the rich combined with spending like drunken sailers to expand government clearly demonstrated that decades of the Washington GOP campaigning on fiscal conservatism was merely pandering to achieve power.

    Am I supposed to be impressed that GOP Congressman are swearing off earmarks given the GOP is not the minority in Congress and there’s a possible Obama Presidency on the horizon?

    It’s take the GOP throwing Pork King Congressmen Kingston off the appropriations commitee for me to give it a second thought.

  4. Palmetto Peach says:

    The earmarking issue is relevant to only two groups: those in Washington who play politics, and us – the bloggers and grassroots folks. Most voters in Macon, or Rome, or Athens just want to know what their Congressman is doing for them and their families. That includes cutting their taxes, helping improve their schools, and otherwise staying out of their business. We might not like to admit it, but lots – if not most – of those families actually like that their elected officials are bringing home the bacon. To them, it’s only pork when it benefits some other town or state.

  5. Demonbeck says:

    Hey, while we’re at it, let’s give the Executive department control over legislation too. Then we can be the total opposite of Britain – an Executive with all the power and a figurehead Legislative Branch. To hell with separation of powers, what did the founding fathers know about anything anyway?

  6. John Konop says:

    Does not the attitude by Rep Jack Kingston represent the problem with out of control spending not the solution?

    AJC….The Savannah Republican said criticism of the congressional practice of seeking local projects and grants has prodded him to trim back his own requests. He’s asking for about half of the $100 million he won last year for his district and the state.

    At the same time, Georgia’s loss will mean other states’ gain, Kingston said…..

    Tom Price is right!

    AJC-….The system has caused an “erosion of spending oversight,” said Rep. Tom Price of Roswell….

  7. Demonbeck says:

    Yes, John, let’s let an outdated formula or an anonymous bureaucrat in Washington decide what’s best for us here in Georgia.

    When did “strengthen the central government” become a Republican mantra?

  8. John Konop says:

    Demonbeck

    They can put it in the original bill. The idea of letting Lawmakers from any party trade earmarks for passage of bills is why the national debt is out of control. This has nothing to do with party but what is right for future generations!

    The reason inflation is out of control as I warned years ago is because out of control spending devalues the dollar.

  9. Demonbeck says:

    John,

    The reason spending is out of control has nothing to do with earmarks. The reason spending is out of control is because there are no true hard caps on the size of the federal budget. Cutting earmarks completely will not change that at all.

    The answer to this problem is to allow earmarks, but continue to publicly show who requested them, and to place a hard cap on the size of budget. If our fiscally conservative friends want to give the Executive branch more power, give them the power to limit spending. Asking some faceless bureaucrat to decide where to send funds is even worse than the system we have in place.

    Answer me one question, John, name one federal government agency you think could spend money appropriated to them without a considerable amount of waste.

  10. John Konop says:

    Demonbeck

    Earmarks is only one piece of the puzzle. We must also reinstate PAY/GO that forced Lawmakers to not pass tax or spending bills without the money to pay for it.
    The problem with Earmarks is Lawmakers trade them for passage of legislation which always drives the cost of the bill up.

    Also Lawmakers could state in the bill the bidding process.

  11. modcon says:

    Ironically, while these guys are soap boxing about not taking any earmarks, they are skulking around asking the senators and other congressmen to make sure their projects get funded.

  12. Demonbeck says:

    John,

    By placing earmarks in the bill language instead of the report language, you are doing nothing to cut the amount of earmarks. You are just moving them from one place to another. Earmarks are a necessary function of the checks and balance system within our government. They are merely a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the bills anyway.

    PAYGo is close, but still limits spending only until the money comes in.

    The answer is not changing the way the earmarks are reported, nor will it be found through some accounting trick like PAYGo. Take the lead from Georgia and conservatively assess what the nation’s income will be and let them go no further. Install a hard cap on spending.

    I ask again, can you name one federal agency or department with whom you would trust to spend your money wisely?

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