Saturday, August 11, 2007

Oberstar's Anti-Pork Score In The House - 2%. TWO PERCENT.

Pat Toomey's fantastic website, The Club For Growth, released its 2007 "Repork Card". Folks, this is a MUST READ. You'll be shocked at how sloppy the new Congress is with your money. Here's an excerpt, copied and pasted (bold emphasis mine):

  • Sixteen congressmen scored a perfect 100%, voting for all 50 anti-pork amendments. They are all Republicans.
  • The average Republican score was 43%. The average Democratic score was 2%.
  • Kudos to Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) who scored an admirable 98%-the only Democrat to score above 20%.
  • The Democratic Freshmen scored an abysmal average score of 2%. Their Republican counterparts scored an average score of 78%.
So, when people ask me what the difference is between the two parties, its this approach to appropriations that serves as the perfect case in point.

To make matters worse, the Miami Herald reported on July 30th about rumblings of a Congressional pay raise - apparently, there are those in the legislature that think we need to pay an additional 5 cents a gallon in gas taxes to pay for bridge and road upkeep, but they can continue to vote themselves pay raises under the radar. Fortunately, even the Power Whores have enough sense to know supporting this pay raise would be suicide, given the increased sacrifice they're calling for from us.

This is why I went ballistic the other day when Representative Oberstar (D-MN) ladled the guilt all over me for not supporting the concept of a tax increase for bridge and road upkeep. Oberstar voted for only ONE of FIFTY anti-pork bills that came before the House. His score in the Repork Card was TWO PERCENT. Yet, "God help you" if you don't support his tax increase.

I'm going to ask Mr. Oberstar again - what, sir, are YOU sacrificing for bridge and road repair?

Here's what Ed Morrissey at Captains Quarters had to say (bold emphasis mine):

"... Oberstar, whose pork projects on transportation tend to focus on bike paths, also has called for a tax increase to address potentially failing bridges. Young mentions 500 of these as critical, having the same design as the St. Anthony Bridge. Neither of them nor their colleagues had any concern over this issue in 2005, when they larded down the transportation bill with 6,300 earmarks, including 147 for Minnesota alone -- and none of them apparently addressing failing bridges."

So, Mr. Oberstar, tell us how many bike paths your district is willing to sacrifice to enhance bridge and road upkeep. This is why I go nuts when Congressmen start talking about "sacrifice" to fix problems. Back in the early 90s, House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski made a comment to the effect of "we all have to sacrifice to fix our nation's problems." I wrote a piece in FSU's Independent Perspective entitled "Shared Sacrifice Means Congress, Too". What do they sacrifice? Nothing, baseline budgeting continues to enable them to spend more and more each year, then turn the puppy dog eyes to the constituency and ask how you can allow seniors to go without medicine, children without school lunch, or say, bridges without repair by taking that tax cut. Its insulting.

And, its not just Democrats in the Legislature. Remember Bill Clinton's 1992 pledge to "not raise taxes on the middle class" to pay for his programs? All of us in the Republican party were shouting from the mountaintops that the minute this weasel's palm sweat evaporated from the Bible at inauguration, he'd forget all about it. Our prediction came true. The term de jour in the early days of 1993 was "shared sacrifice". The sharing of sacrifice was to take place among us in the constituency.

I vehemently oppose tax increases of ANY stripe for this very reason. Once our representatives in the legislature start scoring above 90% across the board on combating wasteful spending, then I'll consider going along with a tax increase. Until then, they shouldn't even consider it.