Friday, March 30, 2007

The Emergency Earmark Express

There are many ways to criticize this year's emergency supplemental bill. I, for one, have taken to calling the bill "No Emergency Left Behind," since it redefines "emergency" so as to make that word meaningless.

Another approach, one taken by the Club for Growth PAC, is to denounce those freshman Democratic congressman who campaigned on promises of fiscal discipline but seem to have changed their minds once in office. For instance:

Nancy Boyda (KS-2) recently came out in support of the pork-stuffed Iraq supplemental bill, but her campaign Web site told a different story. Running against Republican Jim Ryun, she wrote “Congress must never waste a single taxpayer dime on needless spending ... Wasteful spending has increased exponentially in recent years.” Does Nancy Boyda think $75 million for peanut storage is not a waste of taxpayer dollars?

Citizens against Government Waste, in an op-ed and chart in today's NYT, extends these two critiques. The op-ed confirms the Club for Growth's suspicions that the

Democratic leadership shamelessly used pork to buy votes—before the vote, Representatives Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Peter DeFazio of Oregon acknowledged that add-ons for their districts would influence their decisions.

And the chart, which compiles some of the most egregious "emergencies"—including $20 million to eradicate Mormon crickets in Nevada—shows just how far Congress is willing to abuse the English language.