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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

That damned pork

What's Mallard raving about today?

President Obama, Pork.

I am not certain President Obama did run on a "no pork" platform. I'm certain the other guy wouldn't stop shouting "You earmarks get off my lawn!" But I really don't recall pork spending being a major part of President Obama's campaign.

Also, the purpose of a stimulus package is to push money into the economy. Any kind of spending which pays salaries, saves jobs, or creates jobs, will tend to serve this purpose.

Anyway, Mallard's timing once again could not be better, since his Republican overlords in Big Business, specifically AIG, proved once again today why this reflexive notion that Government is automatically more less wasteful than private spending is utter horse crap.


Michael said...

His chin is getting longer by the day. It will be 2 feet long by the end of his first term.

MToje said...

Uh, DaveyK, don't you mean that this disproves that government spending is always more wasteful than private spending, not less?

rewinn said...

Tinkley is still the laziest "cartoonist" in the business.

I'd say more but why should I work harder than he?

Squid Vicious said...

DavyK, the link isn't showing up in today's post. For those of you reading comments, you can find it here:

Today's Craptastical Lameness

GeoX said...

I think we're all missing the main point, ie, OBAMA'S GONNA MEET WITH A-RAB DICTATORS!!!!111eleventybillionone This is in start contrast to Republicans, who ONLY meet with dictators when it's politically expedient. They have principles!

Squid Vicious said...

Reference to the fiscal plank of the Obama-Biden platform reveals that one element of their plan to restore fiscal discipline was to "Cut Pork Barrel Spending." Note that this was not (and is not) a promise to categorically do away with earmarks, but rather a pledge that earmarks would receive public scrutiny. Obama's position, which I think is the correct one, is that if an earmark can't stand up to public review, than it is probably not justified.

Of course, what is left out of this discussion is what tools the President has to actually prevent congressional earmarking. The easy answer is two: the bully pulpit and veto. Since the Supreme Court struck down the line-item veto as an unconstitutional violation of separation of powers, Presidents have a binary choice on bills: sign/veto. As such, if Obama can't convince the public to speak out against earmarks and make Congress remove earmarks, he can only veto an entire bill. This, of course, is an untenable position, both in terms of governance and in terms of politics, so it never happens.

Thus, to blame earmarking on President Obama represents not only a gross misunderstanding of our constitutional system, but also a profound ignorance of his actual position.

Factinista said...

The other issue is that what constitutes "pork" depends on who you're talking to. For instance, GOP Anointed One Bobby Jindal criticized volcano monitoring, and yet he plans to spend $1 million in federal money on a dirt road.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ, the ellipses! Argh!!

Apparently, "earmarks" are anything that doesn't fall into the "give extremely wealthy people more money." Good to know. A $1M to study swarming herbivore bugs to hopefully prevent tens of millions in crop damages and future subsidies/bailouts?! TAX AND SPEND!!!

rewinn said...

Factinista -

How interesting! the dirt road money is for a bridge at the end, serving an private enterprise that is, conveniently, not named in the plan.

"State Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Grosse Tete, said he wants to know who the unnamed private enterprise on the other side of the bridge contributed to in order to get on the administration’s list."

Volcanos, OTOH, make no campaign contributions, so it makes no sense to monitor them.

GeoX said...

As Colbert noted, the problem with monitoring volcanoes is that it totally ruins the surprise.

exanonymous said...

Let's see...

Less than 2%
Not all useless pork
Republican pork in there

"It's okay if you're a republican!"
Needs additional line:
"and it's all a Democrat's fault anyways!"

rewinn said...

A little late, but this and other attacks on the stimulus DID prompt:


"Tuscumbia, Missouri - Construction workers at the first "shovel-ready" stimulus project (a bridge in Missouri) threw down their tools in disgust when they learned their efforts would only prolong the economic crisis.

"I thought working would be good for the economy because I could buy food for my family," growled a burly foreman, "Instead I learn that putting people to work is bad for the economy. That makes me mad!"

"Down with jobs!" shouted a front-loader operator. "Let the economy take its course. I'd rather sell my children than take government money to repair a bridge in my community!"

Professor Hack of the Chicago School of Economics explained,
"The Great Depression started in 1933 when FDR took a healthy economy, in which up to 70% of the workforce was employed, and ruined it by putting people to work. It didn't get better until President Eisenhower took over from Truman. Clearly the massive spending of the New Deal and World War Two were complete wastes."

At the job site, tools lay in the mud as workers stomped off enraged. "We want better returns on our derivative-backed security portfolio," they chanted in unison, "Infrastructure is for pansies!""


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