Getting Screwed Through Abstinence

What is it about Pennsylvania politicians and pork? Yesterday, we covered the ongoing story of John Murtha, King of Pork. Today, the Politico reveals that Arlen Specter wants pork for virginity, screwing taxpayers while promoting abstinence:

The senator, who supports abortion rights, is turning the state into the abstinence-earmark capital of the country, directing more than $8 million into dozens of programs and, in the process, arching more than a few eyebrows.
He’s done it again this year, setting aside $1 million for an Erie women’s center that provides “abortion recovery” counseling, a community group once chaired by a late supporter and 23 other school districts, hospitals and local organizations. No other member of Congress earmarks money for abstinence education.
The reason Specter does it offers insight into the political machinations behind — and the abiding allure of — the narrow-interest spending requests maligned by fiscal watchdogs but desired as much as ever by members of Congress.

And here’s where the rubber meets the road, if you’ll pardon a terrible pun. Conservatives, including many fiscal conservatives, want more emphasis on abstinence. For that matter, so do I, at least in terms of sex education in schools.
However, as a conservative, I question these earmarks just as I do any other manipulations of federal funding for political purposes. The funding of Pennsylvania abstinence programs should come from Pennsylvanians, if they desire them. Taxpayers in other states should not have to pay the bill for programs that exist within Pennsylvania, just as they shouldn’t have to foot the bill for Johnstown’s questionable revival or for hippie museums in New York.
Specter, an abortion-rights supporter, wants this money sent to these abstinence programs in his state in order to burnish his thin conservative credentials. However, the abstinence programs represent only the tip of the iceberg. Specter has 188 earmarks in the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill, the highest of any member in the upper chamber. Ted Stevens and Tom Harkin have earmarked more money ($51 million and $60 million, respectively), but Specter has spread the wealth more broadly than either.
Earmarks, simply put, allow legislators to buy votes and pay off supporters in a legal manner. Regardless of the righteousness of the cause, it perverts the idea of open government and ensures an entrenched, careerist legislature. If we only object to the corruption that doesn’t benefit our causes, then we have become the problem.

9 thoughts on “Getting Screwed Through Abstinence”

  1. Both sides of the aisle are guilty of decrying earmarks, but then quietly making sure their *own* constituents are taken care of. It usually takes a “bridge to nowhere” to get the issue on the radar…then a week later all is forgotten. It would be great to see some discipline, but until the playing field can be leveled, nobody is going to unilaterally shortchange their own district.

  2. Captain:
    We ARE part of the problem. Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives … we all gather when the dinner bell is rung.
    Limiting the terms of members of Congress holds the best hope for stopping this. If a member is on his/her way out the day they take office, there is less incentive for dishing out pork.
    Think about it.

  3. Name the politician that said this:
    “Politics is like making sausage. You wouldn’t be able to stand watching it being made; but when served, it’s delicious.”
    I think the answer is Arik Sharon. But I am not sure.
    However, around the world, in all sorts of time periods, OUR system, which serves “self-interest” is better than any other.
    Also, when you collect taxpayer money. At the legislative end; the money shoots out under such pressure, it’s as if it’s flying out of a fire hose.
    We’ve always had problems, too, with the businessmen, SCOUNDRELS, who don’t care, once they get a contract, what they sell to the government!
    As a matter of fact, Milton Friedman, (or some other economist), won the NOBEL PRIZE in ECONOMICS, back in the early 1940’s … for developing a unique system where the army could be pretty sure how close to “perfect” any particular shipment of goods, or munitions, came. Without literally opening ever box. And, testing each and every component.
    By a method of random sampling. That’s how.
    Maybe, instead of just going after one lousy elected district official at a time; you looked at this. Scoped out the problem. Compared it to what happens … like Lincoln learned during the Civil War. That the government’s money put crap into the hands of Union soldiers.
    Problem’s an old one.
    Expecting people to suddenly become saints?
    Well, long ago. Just as we rolled into 1776, with utopian expactations; guess what happened?
    Our “experiment” nearly failed.
    Until our Founding Fathers went into a LOCKED ROOM, in Philadelphia. And, in secret, hammered out our Constitution. Those men knew, what some men still need to learn. You can’t count on others giving you benefits “for the greater good.”
    You can devlop a US Constitution, with checks and balances, that realistically views men’s nature as being full of greed. And, self-interest.
    Here? Just one of the many special interests, or factions, that are vying for the public’s “trust.”
    Public’s trust, however, takes a dim view of “special interest” operators.
    You want better men to select from when you’re picking candidates for office? If so, how come “Jerry-mandering” fell into place? Huh?
    Of course, when your side loses some of its previously held “seats” … there’s a shift in DC’s, power politics. Did that happen?
    It happens all the time.
    THe WHIGS went out of business in 1860.
    And, the republicans? Born then, developed the habit of being very, very conservative. And, ain’t that rich?
    What happens, ahead?
    Drudge has up a headline that last night Hillary had a terrible time of it, during her debate.
    I think this is like one lousy meal in a 4-star french restaurant. Please, do not expect them to lower their menu prices. Because the “chef” had a night “off.”
    Among the true believers? Oh, they’ll be happy on the threat to Hillary.
    Others? How many debates will get remembered. How fast is any candidate moving around “the track.”
    And, what’s this with Bill Richardson? We had UFO’s in New Mexico, back in the 1940’s? And, the government has kept the information hidden? (Like meteors never strike.) Whatever. I’m open to the whole show.
    UFO’s flying and landing, and all.
    I even like sausages, as a matter of fact. But please don’t tell me they sweep the floor at the slaughtering houses, and more often than not, they also stick in eyeballs.

  4. Anyone, here, still following the Larry Craig story?
    He just gave $25,000 to his DC lawyer, straight out of his campaign chest.
    Oh, you don’t think that’s a bigger problem? The “sausage,” in this case, is homosexual.

  5. Despite the risk of sounding redundant:
    Every one of them.
    They should be in jail,not washington,dc.

  6. Excellent article. Earmarks are one of the most significant problems afflicting our version of democracy.

Comments are closed.