Friday, March 06, 2009

Tweet Tweet! I See an Earmark!

Short and sweet
I heard on Tweet,
McCain complains
Alaska's gains.

A big earmark
But is it pork?
A fairground waits
For Palin's state.

Perhaps McCain
Is still in pain -
He lost his bid
While Sarah did

Her best to make
Each campaign stake
Her resume
For future play.

No way.

So say I, anyway.


Apparently John McCain (or someone using his name) is on Twitter listing out the top 10 pork projects (aka earmarks).  Today's number 8 is "$380,000 for a recreation and fairground area in Kotzebue, AK."

From my limited research on what an earmark actually IS -- it looks like our tax money, all those dollars that go into the federal coffers, get allocated to various agencies.  When a Congressperson or Senator specifies that a portion of the allocation must go to a particular project, that's an earmark.  Earmarks comprise maybe 1% of a funding bill.

Important to note:  Earmarks do not ADD to the total allocation.  Earmarks specify where some of the monies must be spent.  That's all.  The reason some people are up in arms about earmarks is because a Senator or Representative can dedicate a portion of the total allocation to a particular project and even a particular company, bypassing competitive bidding in some cases.

Senator McCain's morbid fascination with earmarks makes as much sense as being concerned with the lettering on the license plates the state DMV makes.  They are going to make the license plates anyway.  He may or may not like what kind of license plates are made, but some people will want some of those license plates!

Remember: The Bridge to Nowhere earmark was ridiculed.  After the earmark was rescinded, the state of Alaska got the money ANYWAY.  They just didn't have to spend it on that bridge.  They DIDN'T spend it on that bridge because it would have required the state to also put up additional funds.  Earmarks, schmearmarks.  Political Posturing 101.
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