Government Spending

Defense Pork: It Happens Under Democrats, Too

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From a USA Today editorial:

Don't need any of 'em

"Absolutely, we need earmark reform. And when I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely."

Thus spoke candidate Barack Obama in last fall's first presidential debate […]

Since reaching the White House, however, Obama's zeal for tackling congressional add-ons has been lukewarm, at best. Early in his presidency, he signed a pork-laden spending bill left over from the previous year but vowed to be more vigilant going forward. Now, his administration is lauding a $636 billion defense spending bill, for the fiscal year that began Thursday, that includes $2.7 billion in earmarks.

The measure contains funding for a new destroyer and 10 C-17 cargo planes that the Pentagon did not ask for. It also includes hundreds of smaller earmarks for projects of special interest to individual lawmakers, among them $25 million for a World War II museum in New Orleans and $20 million for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, a kind of think tank dedicated to the legacy of the late senator.

Link via Sen. John McCain's Twitter feed. Reason on defense earmarks here.

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  1. This story is for all those idiots out there who actually think there is difference between republicans and democrats.

    1. True but unfortunately they won’t catch on. They will, as always, focus on the trivialities to “prove” that the parties are “different”.

      “But…but…the Democrats are spending .00000000000001% of the budget in a completely different way!”

    2. There is a difference. Republicans are bad and Democrats are worse.

      Looks at Obama’s deficit and projected deficits. Much worse than Bush.

  2. and $20 million for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, a kind of think tank dedicated to the legacy of the late senator.

    If it’s got Ted Kennedy’s name on it, i suspect very little thinking is actually involved.

  3. A “racist” article

  4. The $20 million goes to buy each member of the think tank a quart of bourbon per day, that they must consume each day so as to be able to closely approximate the thought patterns of Teddy. But, what happens to the rest of the $20 million if they all drive off a bridge one day and are unable to swim to safety?

  5. But, what happens to the rest of the $20 million if they all drive off a bridge one day and are unable to swim to safety?

    Legal fees.

  6. An article on Democrat defense earmarks that doesn’t bring up the king? John “If I’m corrupt, it’s because I take care of my district” Murtha.

  7. 10 “extra” C-17s? Christ, I hope we’re gonna sell them at a markup to some foreign government that doesn’t need them either.

    $218 million apiece! Outstanding! Evidently this is to keep Boeing’s Long Beach/Macon plants going?

  8. Link via Sen. John McCain’s Twitter feed.

    Now there’s a bunch of words I never thought I’d see arranged in that particular order.

  9. Obama: “When I open my cunt-hole of a mouth, I lie.”

  10. “Now, his administration is lauding a $636 billion defense spending bill, for the fiscal year that began Thursday, that includes $2.7 billion in earmarks.”

    So with solid earmark management, we could get this bill down to $633 billion?

    Methinks that the earmark problem is somewhat overstated.

  11. The destroyer, a DDG-1000 (Zumwalt) class is a weapons platform waiting for the weapons (rail guns and free electron lasers) to be developed.

    The DDG-51 (Arleigh Burke) class tin cans equipped with the most advanced seagoing combat system on the planet (Aegis) is still a generation ahead of every other surface platform out there.

    Eisenhower had a point.

    1. “free electron lasers”

      Couldn’t those contribute to global warming? I thought the new military was all about green?

      1. Couldn’t those contribute to global warming?

        I hope so.

        I thought the new military was all about green?

        I don’t think these emit green and you want white light sometimes, like when you are clearing a room and you want to blind your opponent before blowing his brains out.

  12. Why do you racists insist on misquoting the President? What he actually said was, “And when I’m president, I will tow the lyin’ to make sure that we are spending money unwisely.”

  13. Jaybird,

    It’s not just the dollars added on. Those earmarks often buy yea votes for all of those other hundreds of billions.

  14. free electron lasers

    Everyone wants a hand-out.

  15. New Orleans already has a World War II museum:

    (I’m hoping the link works. Some kind of preview function would be nice.)

    http://www.nationalww2museum.org

  16. Where are they giving out these free electron lasers? I’d like to be able to defend my home into the 21st Century and beyond, but i’m a little strapped for cash right now.

  17. “Absolutely, we need earmark reform. And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

    He didn’t have the “time” to do that with anything else, how was he supposed to do it with this?

  18. I suppose.

    Is that why the line-item veto was bad? The main bill (the 636 billion) could pass and the president could lop off the earmarks he didn’t like… saving a mere 2.7 billion, for example?

    1. The main bill (the 636 billion) could pass and the president could lop off the earmarks he didn’t like… saving a mere 2.7 billion, for example?

      Bad or good, it just means that the President could veto individual lines and the Congress would have to override them individually.

      Requires a Constitutional Amendment to impliment, not just a law.

  19. A wii museum would be more fun.

  20. A wii museum would be more fun.

    They could make the docents dress like Yoshi.

  21. “$20 million for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, a kind of think tank dedicated to the legacy of the late senator.”

    Will they be giving swimming lessons?

  22. I’ve been to the WWII museum in New Orleans, and it is pretty fun, if you like seeing armored vehicles, machine guns, and fighter planes, and really, who doesn’t?

  23. Free electron lasers.

    Hey, they may be practical someday. R&D is defensible. That’s no reason to start building ships to put them on today.

  24. …saving a mere 2.7 billion, for example?
    That’s just $9 for every man, woman and child in America. For this bill, this year.
    Ya think it may add up over a decade or two? Maybe?

    1. I felt frisky and divided 633 by 2.7 and got 234.

      If the 2.7 billion represents 9 bucks for everybody, does that mean that the 633 means $2110 for everybody?

      The TWO GRAND is the problem. Focusing on the 9 bucks ain’t the problem.

      Now if the 9 bucks means that the two grand got approved, I can see the 9 bucks as the nose of the camel and as a problem in and of itself.

      But the 9 bucks (even if it does add up) is *NOT* the problem here.

  25. and $20 million for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, a kind of think drunk tank dedicated to the legacy of the late senator.

    Better? Worse?

  26. Better? Worse?

    Eh, about the same.

  27. “And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

    Since “when I’m president” connotes “at a point in the course of my presidency” he has not explicitly lied.

    Continuing to study Obamaese …

  28. Obviously, the economic situation has drastically changed since Obama said these words. He is now much too busy to spend time looking through legislation, he has things like the Olympic commitee to address. Plus, all these expenditures represent more stimulus to the economy and should therefore be encouraged.

  29. The measure contains funding for a new destroyer and 10 C-17 cargo planes that the Pentagon did not ask for.

    What the fuck do they know?

  30. J sub D wrote:
    Eisenhower had a point.

    Ya think?

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  32. The C-17s are necessary (we can’t hire Russian Antonovs forever!) but part of DoD strategy is NOT to ask for items Congress KNOWS are needed and to ASK for other systems instead, object having the net effect….of an earmark!
    Study DoD instead of just Congress. I promise it’ll be interesting and fun.

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