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An Unexpected Benefit to the Earmarks Ban

What with the crazy week we had, we almost forgot to fully ruminate on what happened with President Obama’s epic failure to pass gun control legislation. The Washington Post writes on how the earmark ban helped contribute to this loss:

For the past three months the White House sought to

  1. BrentB67

    The root of all evil in Washington is the money.

    Stop the spending, keep the money at home in the states and all of a sudden all kinds of problems will start disappearing.

  2. Valiuth
    BrentB67: The root of all evil in Washington is the money.

    Stop the spending, keep the money at home in the states and all of a sudden all kinds of problems will start disappearing. · 35 minutes ago

    And move back to the states…

  3. Brasidas

    People are beginning to look at the real policy behind these pieces of legislation?  Talk about an unintended consequence.

  4. Fricosis Guy

    John McCain should get a big round of applause for being a lonely voice against earmarks. Lord knows he gets — and deserves — plenty of brickbats on the right. But he was on the side of the angels on this one.

  5. mask
    BrentB67: The root of all evil in Washington is the money.

    Stop the spending, keep the money at home in the states and all of a sudden all kinds of problems will start disappearing. · 48 minutes ago

    I disagree.  The root evil is power.  The money is just one manifestation of that.

  6. Fred Cole

    Okay.  I’m sold.  I’m now on board with the earmark ban.

  7. WI Con

    Let’s see how this theory holds up with ‘Comprehensive Immigration’.

    That said, I welcome the development. Think what kind of mischief could be avoided/how much lobbying money would dry up with a flat tax.

  8. Spoon

    All of a sudden people are beginning to look at the real policy behind it.” John Boehner.

    Heh, is right.  And that’s a Republican saying that he missed earmarks. 

  9. BrentB67
    Valiuth

    BrentB67: The root of all evil in Washington is the money.

    Stop the spending, keep the money at home in the states and all of a sudden all kinds of problems will start disappearing. · 35 minutes ago

    And move back to the states… · 54 minutes ago

    I would much rather deal with the issues at the state level with the state’s resources available than entrust any power to a centralized government not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

  10. BrentB67
    mask

    BrentB67: The root of all evil in Washington is the money.

    Stop the spending, keep the money at home in the states and all of a sudden all kinds of problems will start disappearing. · 48 minutes ago

    I disagree.  The root evil is power.  The money is just one manifestation of that. · 40 minutes ago

    Private property is the material manifestation of God given liberty. If individuals have more of their private property their individual liberty naturally follows.

  11. Spoon
    Z in MT: Let’s see if the earmark ban holds.  I bet that if either party captures both houses in 2014 earmarks will return. · 30 minutes ago

    So true.  Both parties seem to be chomping at the bit on the earmark ban.  Makes it hard to know what to wish for in the 2014 election.

  12. Valiuth
    Spoon

    Z in MT: Let’s see if the earmark ban holds.  I bet that if either party captures both houses in 2014 earmarks will return. · 30 minutes ago

    So true.  Both parties seem to be chomping at the bit on the earmark ban.  Makes it hard to know what to wish for in the 2014 election. · in 2 minutes

    Status quo. As long as it holds no one can do anything. Events will force them to move on fiscal issues regardless of differences….

  13. Jordan Wiegand

    What you mean it’s hard to get laws passed when you can’t bribe people to vote for your legislation with other people’s money?  Who’da thunk it?

  14. James Of England
    Give Me Liberty: If “90 percent of Americans supported the idea” it would have been a slam dunk to pass.  And even John Boehner wishes he had more taxpayer cash on hand to buy deals as opposed to passing bills on their merits.  Does anyone else feel like we are through the looking glass? · 7 hours ago

    I agree, it’s an incredible quote. Well, no, the description of the quote is incredible. The anonymous sourcing of “a journalist” seems suspicious to me, and at odds with the AP account (which had it being given to a group of journalists). None of the other coverage of the comment suggest that he meant it negatively. Given that it was something that he pushed for, it seems likely that this would have been big news.

    The Examiner makes it clear that they weren’t present and lays on their interpretation with a trowel.

    Mollie, do you know of a reason to trust them that should override their implausibility and the obvious motive that this sort of hit job would always be popular amongst Freepers etc.?

  15. jaWes (of TX)

    In his book

  16. jaWes (of TX)

    In his book Saving Freedom, Jim DeMint described this exact effect. He said it’s not that earmarks cost a lot of money, it’s that they allow a lot of legislation to pass that wouldn’t otherwise. Am I the only one that thinks it’s a good thing when Congress is gridlocked?

  17. James Of England
    jaWes (of TX): In his book Saving Freedom, Jim DeMint described this exact effect. He said it’s not that earmarks cost a lot of money, it’s that they allow a lot of legislation to pass that wouldn’t otherwise. Am I the only one that thinks it’s a good thing when Congress is gridlocked? · 16 minutes ago

    Yeah, this was the argument used by everyone; Flake, Cantor, Boehner, McCain, DeMint, Coburn, Kyl, Pence, Romney. As Fred suggested, no one thought that this was unexpected; neither he nor Mollie was surprised. This story was a: a confirmation of something everyone knew to be true and b: an ugly slander on a congressman notable for never having taken an earmark, a decision almost unique amongst members with his length of time in office.

  18. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    I thought the journalist’s characterization of Boehner’s quote was fishy — and it sounds like it was.

    But while I think everyone thought an earmark ban would hurt legislation like the highway bill, I like how this shows it hurts other, non-approps legislation. Was that predicted?

    And all the estimates of how much earmarks cost — how could they include bills similar to the gun bill? Or did they? On what basis were they included in costs of earmarks?

  19. Give Me Liberty

    If “90 percent of Americans supported the idea” it would have been a slam dunk to pass.  And even John Boehner wishes he had more taxpayer cash on hand to buy deals as opposed to passing bills on their merits.  Does anyone else feel like we are through the looking glass?

  20. Z in MT

    Let’s see if the earmark ban holds.  I bet that if either party captures both houses in 2014 earmarks will return.

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