February 14, 2008

Obama, Clinton Porkfest Bill: Almost A Half-Billion Dollars

In one corner, we have John McCain, who has not requested an earmark for years and who has vowed to veto any bill as President which contains them. In the other corner, still fighting between themselves, we have Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who have combined for over $430 million in earmarks just in the last session. Who says there isn't a distinction to be made in November?:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure more than $340 million worth of home-state projects in last year's spending bills, placing her among the top 10 Senate recipients of what are commonly known as earmarks, according to a new study by a nonpartisan budget watchdog group.

Working with her New York colleagues in nearly every case, Clinton supported almost four times as much spending on earmarked projects as her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), whose $91 million total placed him in the bottom quarter of senators who seek earmarks, the study showed.

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the likely GOP presidential nominee, was one of five senators to reject earmarks entirely, part of his long-standing view that such measures prompt needless spending.

First, let's mull over one point. Obama's $91 million pork-barrel push puts him in the bottom quartile of earmarkers in the Senate? I guess that's an accomplishment, but it comes with a mighty high price tag.

Clearly, the race in November will pit two very different kinds of philosophies against each other. McCain has spent his career trying to control federal spending and fighting the kind of corrupting influence pork brings to Congress. Barack Obama has rationalized its use by limiting it to "public entities". Hillary hasn't even bothered to limit her use of earmarks, which led to the embarrassing revelation of the Woodstock Museum pork that would have cost taxpayers a million dollars.

With both Clinton and Obama planning on adding over $200 billion per year as president in new federal programs, they show themselves as typical statist, top-down spenders. Their track records show that they have spent more time spending our money than in solving problems. Barack Obama's one legislative achievement -- besides pork spending -- has been the Coburn-Obama spending database. Hillary Clinton hasn't even done that much. Neither one has even attempted to pursue their presidential agendas during their time as legislators, but they've found the time to redirect almost half a billion dollars into the pockets of their political support.

The two Democrats combined can't even match the legislative record of the legendary dilettante, John Kerry, who authored six significant bills in 20 years before running for President. John McCain has done more in a year -- sometimes to the anger of his own party -- than both have done put together for their entire careers. Yet they have no problem wasting time with earmark assignments.

Yes, this race will offer a real choice in November. Change won't come from the Democrats -- at least not these two Democrats.


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