Government Spending

Your Tax Dollars at Work: Guns vs. Butter The Ted Kennedy Educational Institute

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Senators diverted $2.6 billion in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops, including those fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an analysis.

Among the 778 such projects, known as earmarks, packed into the bill: $25 million for a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans and $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

More here, via The Wash Times.

Earmarks may be a small portion of the overall budget, but they exemplify everything that is wrong with the ways government spends money. Check out Earmarks: The Alien Menace for details:

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  1. I’ve reached the point that I’d support a constitutional amendment that gives the president line item veto authority.

    No, it’s not the important issue facing the nation but it’s goddam obvious. Make it 60% to override if you wish to pussilanimous about it.

    1. Don’t be silly. You’re shifting power from one branch of the federal government to another. The executive branch is already overwhelmingly powerful. Concentrating the power still further is worse than useless.

      The problem isn’t that Rep. Tweedledum is too powerful relative to President Tweedledee, or that one party is ahead of the other in the latest congressional elections– it’s that the whole political class has far too much power compared to everyone else. There’s been a general centralization of power in the Federal Government; Congress and the Cabinet are obviously the most corrupt of the lot when taken individually, but it’s the small, unnoticeable frauds and the petty cases of bullying that are dragging down us as a country. ACORN is the tip of the iceberg– but all that happened was that they did what groups have been doing for years, just under one convenient brand name.

      And the only institution that can reverse that inexorable concentration of power is… wait for it… the federal government, in the form of the outcomes of an election. The Republicans may be far less bad, but I don’t think anyone can argue that they ever delivered systematically on their limited-government pledge.

  2. But Nick things like fuel and ammunition and training don’t help chronies get rich. Get your priorities straight here. Making sure that troops in a war are properly supplied can never take precedence over stealing.

    1. John, why do you hate the troops, you racist?

  3. $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

    I wonder if it will automatically make you dumber when you visit it, considering how much the US has fallen behind other countries on his watch.

    1. No, but I thought the Oldsmobile Delmont 88 waterslide was a nice touch.

    2. one entrance requirement is that you must be able to swim 75 yards

    3. But I hear it has a great aquatics program.

      1. Wow, if I just read for 1/2 minute longer, I would have saved myself some embarrassment.

  4. I kind of preferred Jesse Walker’s take on it:
    https://reason.com/blog/2009/03…..r-earmarks

    I especially would like earmarks if we pass laws requiring that bills be posted in their final form for X weeks before voting.

    Besides, the Constitution puts spending powers in the hands of Congress, not the Executive. Handing the Executive large wads of money and saying “Do whatever you want with this” is an abdication of their duty.

  5. Shouldn’t the headline be Guns Vs. Butthead?

  6. Yeah, Nick, you really fucked up.

  7. Fear me not, Earthlings.

    I am quite satisfied to watch you self-destruct.

  8. Whichever Senator or Senators were responsible for doing this deserve to be killed, plain and simple.

  9. plain and simple…is that like a single shot to the head i.e. not too elaborate like the Goldfingers laser ?

    1. How about dropping a complete and unabridged copy of the Internal Revenue Code on their heads?

      That should take care of it.

  10. Gilbert, there is neither crane nor helicopter powerful enough to lift that monstrosity in the first place, if you’re talking hard copy.

  11. But what if Ron Paul says earmarks are good?

  12. “$25 million for a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans”

    For Fuck’s Sake, the National WWII Museum (one of the finest museums in the country, I might add) is 7 miles away! Tell me that’s a misprint.

  13. I thought Absolut and Budweiser were bankrolling that Kennedy Institute.

  14. Do we really need lessons on how to be a drunkard Socialist?

  15. Does this Ted Kennedy “Institute” plan on teaching safe driving and diving courses? If so, then this is a reasonable use of the funds. If not, then it’s a total waste of money.

  16. $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat?

    I have an idea–let’s name a Submarine after him!

  17. $20 million is a lot to honor a soldier who never rose about the rank of Private and did not win any medals for valor or heroism.

  18. $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat?

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