Basically, earmarks don't mean "wasteful" spending. There are lots of people who assume that earmarks are simply random stupid ideas that Obama has personally come up with and appropriated the majority of the stimulus package to.
In reality, the earmarks make up 2% of the total spending and are as excessive as they are due to the bureaucracy of congress. It isnt Obama coming up with these appropriations, it is the members of congress from both parties, who are the republicans kidding when they put the blame on Obama for doing this? He promised to fight earmarks but that was before the economic crisis got this bad, time is of the essence and when you have to push through significant spending legislation to recover the economy there will be some waste. The biggest problem with this entire discussion is the inevitable blame placed on Obama. You give the guy the biggest collapse of the financial sector since the great depression in his first 50 days in office and you get mad that "earmarks" a word that most people dont really understand make up 2% of the stimulus spending? that basically translates to 2% spent on philanthropic and social causes. None of this money would be appropriated in this bill to something retarded like a 6 year war based on false pretenses that eventually divides the country against itself, costs trillions of dollars and causes a rift between the USA and other nations especially in context of the UN.
However, so quickly we forget. We forget why Obama is forced into a reactionary position, the last guy in office left him with something that due diligence and appropriate regulation would have been exposed much sooner. Any time a politician has to react to a serious collapse of any sector in an expedient manor they are not going to be able to do it without some waste, you know that saying? "Haste makes waste"? well that isn't his fault, you cant take a long time to accomplish something like a stimulus plan or else the economy will take longer to recover and the cost of the GDP will not be worth inefficiencies of the plan due to the short time line.
Im hopeful that Obama will make good on his promises to change congress and stop it from running on lobbyists and corruption. However hes working with a broken system now, a broken system that hasnt been fixed for decades. This focus on earmarks is simply a way of ignoring the shear amount of hard work he has put in and the incredible progress he has made in the face of such a calamity. I've had enough with these idiots who act like they could do better, but are ignorant to the realities of the world.
Omnibus Earmark Spending
Ag-Rural Development-FDA $353,105,900
Commerce, Justice & Science $752,999,420
Energy & Water $3,534,626,863
Financial Services $135,276,814
Legislative Branch $380,000
Transportation and Housing & Urban Development $1,487,607,944
Grand Totals $7,671,009,741
Lets just remember for a minute, that earmarks are not wasted spending necessarily, and that they are the pet projects of senators who Obama doesn't have time to fight right now. I think in the past 8 years you can think of worse uses of money than Education, Science and Urban Development. I mean, this is a stimulus package, maybe paying for some social programs that help people and at the same time create jobs aren't really that bad? Isnt the the whole point of this bill anyway?
Isnt it interesting that these earmarks only represent 2% of the bill, and the bill only represents globally competitive relative portion of the USA's GDP, and yet republicans are pretending that this 2% of the bill is going to doom the country to communism and collapse?
Conservative spending is important, but it only makes sense to spend months battling for leaner spending and reduced waste when the economy is literally on the brink of collapse.
I'm going to see if i can find more specific earmark programs to really illustrate how this isn't the travesty the GOP is pretending it is.
Also Silkwizard, stop regurgitating republican talking points. Your blog blends into a homogeneous glut or no homework relaying of party messages, maybe you should cut back on watching Fox and listening to Sean Hannity for all your opinions and actually think rationally. I mean seriously, Obama could cure cancer today and you would say that he has doomed the world to overpopulation you alarmist partisan hack.
Obama beleives that no one deserves to be rich. He thinks everyone should be at the same level. Sadly that's never going to be the case. No matter how much he tries to even it out, the government will have the most money and abuse it. It's never even, and I think he knows that, he's just power hungry."
Quote from Barack Obama:
"It wasn't under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks," Obama said. "And it wasn't on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement, the prescription drug plan, without a source of funding."
"We've actually been operating in a way that has been entirely consistent with free-market principles, and some of the same folks who are throwing the word socialist around can't say the same."
"By the time we got here, there already had been an enormous infusion of taxpayer money into the financial system," he said, adding, "The fact that we've had to take these extraordinary measures and intervene is not an indication of my ideological preference, but an indication of the degree to which lax regulation and extravagant risk-taking has precipitated a crisis."
These are quotes taken from this article from the global edition of the new york times, the Herald Tribune : http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/03/08/america/barack.php
Also "Spread the Wealth Around" is a lamen way of saying further progressive taxation, an increase in tax needs to happen to fund the things GWB has put into motion, what is more fair? tax those who cant feed their families because of an economic slowdown or tax those who have millions and millions in the bank. It is a marginal increase in taxation on those making more than 250,000 a year. Boo hoo cry babies. We wouldnt be hearing any complaints about it if it wasnt for the fact that the rich control the media.