Saturday, December 29, 2007

Does Dan Seals Hate Veterans?

As Flying Debris mentioned in this post, candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Illinois 10th US Congressional District Dan Seals really doesn't get it. Earmarks were last year's Democratic issue, to be used during the campaign that Mr. Seals lost last year. As TA from Team America's Tenth District Blog pointed out in this excellent post over 71% of the dollars that Mr. Seals is complaining about in the e-mail below is for a Veterans Hospital in the 10th District. This is a sentence that I find amazing, "(a)gain, I am sure that there are good projects in there." As TA points out in the post linked to above, it's part of the public record, and come on, Seals hasn't worked in years, you would think that he'd have learned how to use that Google thingy by now.

It's that time of year again. The snow is on the ground, the holiday spirit is in the air, and the gift-giving is underway.

And nowhere is this gift-giving more apparent than Congress' most recent spending bill, which gave billions of dollars in pork to the big special interests and lumps of coal to our children, grandchildren, and future generations to come.

That's right. Just this week, Congress sent a spending bill to the president that contained a side-splitting 9,000 earmarks, pet projects of individual members of Congress that are slipped into legislation at the last minute, financed with taxpayer money, and never debated or scrutinized before being signed into law. Given that we as a nation are already in debt, future taxpayers, like my kids, will pick up the bill.

Some of these earmarks surely go to good projects. But too many of them don't. The problem is that the process of earmarking doesn't give us any way to tell. That's because the decisions about what gets funded and what doesn't get made behind closed doors and without debate. That is an invitation for waste and abuse.

The Democrats that took control of Congress in 2006 point out that they have taken steps to reform this process. They have not gone far enough. The system of earmarks should end. 9000 earmarks isn't a victory for anyone, but it is a definite loss for the taxpayer. I can think of no good reason why we should continue supporting a system that encourages waste and abuse.

Our Congressman, Mark Kirk, can apparently think of 140 million reasons. He asked Congress for a staggering $140 million in pet projects to be funded by taxpayer dollars. Again, I'm sure there are some good projects in there. But if so, why not bring them into the light and have them voted on? The only one who has anything to lose is the project that shouldn't receive any funding in the first place. And that's the way it should be. But this is Congress, where it is better to take than to give. It's one more reason why we need a change in Congress.

Thanks to a local blogger for passing on the Seals e-mail, the mystery blogger desires anonymity, I think.

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