October 29, 2007

Guest Post: Senator Jim DeMint On Earmark Reform

Occasionally, Captain's Quarters features guest posts from our elected officials on issues of high interests to the readers of this blog. Today I welcome Senator Jim DeMint on the issue of earmark reform.

Join the Fight to Reform Earmarks
By Sen. Jim DeMint

In 1987, Ronald Reagan vetoed a bill that had 121 earmarks, saying "I haven't seen this much lard since I handed out blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair."

By 2005, this corrupting system exploded as we stuffed 13,997 wasteful earmarks into spending bills, including the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska and the Teapot Museum in North Carolina. In fact, just since 2000, Congress has spent more than $170 BILLION of your tax dollars on these pork barrel projects.

Today Democrats rule Congress, Republicans have quit acting like Republicans, wasteful spending has become the norm, and our nation's capital has become a place where it seems that the words "conservativism" and "integrity" have lost their meaning. Reagan conservatives are rightly upset as politicians have continuously betrayed our trust.

If my words sound dreary, it is because I think about the hundreds of thousands of conservative activists around the country who have worked for years to send Republicans to Washington. Those activists have been let down by politicians who decry our mounting national debt during campaign season and yet return to Washington and continue to spend hand over fist at the expense of American taxpayers. Who can blame Americans for losing trust in Republicans last November?

The bipartisan culture of corruption in Washington is best seen in the use of earmarks - pork barrel spending inserted into legislation in the dead of night. Some politicians might try to use earmarks to influence voters, but American taxpayers aren't buying it. They see wasteful projects for what they are... higher taxes and a reckless use of resources in the face of a looming health care and social security crisis. Some members of Congress may have lost their way, but Republicans all across America know exactly what needs to be done.

It's time to change the culture of corruption in Washington and it begins by eliminating earmarks.

But I can't do it alone. It's time to take the fight to the ground. That's why I'm using my campaign resources to build 100,000 Strong for Earmark Reform.

Using new online technologies and a new state of the art website at www.jimdemint.com, we are recruiting 100,000 supporters across the nation to pressure Congress into passing real earmark reform. That's where you come in.

I need you to join 100,000 Strong for Earmark Reform. Just visit www.jimdemint.com and sign our petition. In the next few weeks, I will submit your petition to my fellow members of Congress. I will then contact you immediately to let you know what you can do to help.

I hope I can count on your help to reform a broken Washington and close down the Congressional favor factory.


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