Last night changed this blog headline from "Pork Kings Rise from the grave". While on a conference call with our local congressman, he joyfully reported fresh word that Congressional leaders buried its $1.3-trillion omnibus spending bill.
The omnibus bill was the "bus" hauling some 6,488 or more (depending on who was doing the counting) earmarks. Shoveled into the defense spending category pile was two after-life memorial gifts dedicated to the Northeast's two departed kings of "pork" legislation.
$10 million was targeted for the John P. Murtha Center for Public Service at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. His successor, Rep. Mark Critz, was responsible for that. This isn't the first earmark proposed for the Murtha "tombstone".
Another $8 million of defense spending was dug up for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, scheduled to open in Boston in 2013. According to several sources, this institute has already received $38.3 million in federal earmarks – $20 million last year, plus private donations.
If the monuments to Senator Kennedy and Congressman John Murtha are to rise, they should be funded via private donations – not taxpayer dollars. After all, plenty of businesses and individuals benefited from Kennedy's and Murtha's largess with your and my tax dollars.
Back to our conference call . . .
Yes, I live in a fairly conservative congressional district. But you shift to more conservative thinking when you're struggling to make ends meet, while others throw money around like loose change.
All those sharing their views and asking questions were thoughtful and respectful, despite their circumstances. A World War II veteran was concerned about the care of fellow veterans. A woman with severe physical disabilities and unable to work feared that rising local taxes would leave her destitute.
Several men who lost jobs as their employers shifted to Chinesese labor forces had been unable to find work for more than a year. Most were relieved that taxes weren't going to be raised, but strongly felt the wealthy should pay more and big government should be down-sized.
Many expressed grave concern for our economy if Uncle Sam doesn't dramatically curb its spending. You get the point: America can no longer afford spendthrift government. The likes of Murtha and Kennedy must be relieved of duty.
If you really want to be astounded by how much Uncle Sam is out of control, check out the Senate Appropriations Committee's horrendously long spending lists on the web at:
Taxpayers must remain wary of other such "buses", alias pork-haulers. They must learn the basics of accounting if our country is to survive as a democratic republic.
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