I'll Gladly Pay You This Year for Last Year's Earmarks
On Tuesday evening, when President Barack Obama declared before a joint session of Congress that "we passed the recovery plan free of earmarks," House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi popped like jackrabbits out of their seats for a standing ovation. On Wednesday, those same House Democrats led by Pelosi passed a budget with, by some counts, nearly 9,000 earmarks, worth an estimated $7.7 billion. […]
Despite the fact that congressional Democrats crafted much of the bill since Obama was elected, the White House argues that the pork-laden bill—which increases federal spending across a range of cabinet departments by 8%—is part of the prior Administration's legacy. "What may be next week's bill is last year's legislation," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
Meanwhile, at the Volokh Conspiracy, David Bernstein reminds us that Obama made repeated campaign promises of a "net spending cut." This promise, as I mentioned in my first post-election column, was the "only…pro-Obama—as opposed to anti-Republican—argument [that] ever really resonated with me." It resonates a bit less right now.