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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Omnibus Earmark Database From TCS

TCS (Taxpayers for Common Sense) has their database up now showing the almost 9,000 earmarks aka pork, stuffed into the $410 billion omnibus bill. This bill has passed the House and is now in the Senate and TCS has tabulated all Senate recipients of earmarks, both Republican and Democrats.

Here’s the database you all have been waiting for - the FY 2009 Omnibus with 8,570 earmarks worth $7.7 billion. Since the Senate started debate on the bill today, we tabulated the Senate recipients of earmarks – from top to bottom. So you’ll find the Mississippi delegation at the head of the pack followed by the Louisiana delegation hot on their heels.

This is version one, it is accurate, but we will add more detail, house member totals and track down the states of many of the earmarks (we have to do a little digging in some cases where they are not described). So check back frequently. And remember, this is just the Omnibus and does not include the three FY09 spending bills that passed back in the fall (Defense, Homeland Security, and Military Construction/Veterans Affairs) that had more than 2,000 earmarks worth $6.6 billion.

For those unaware, this is above and beyond the 800 plus billion that was just passed by both the House and senate and signed by Barack Obama, under the guise of "economic stimulus."

So, since Obama became president, should this omnibus bill pass, we are talking well over $120 billion tax payers funds. Remember also that Obama has now decided to hand over $30 billion in taxpayer money to be handed over to AIG, which is now being bailed out for the fourth time.

The Politico reports that John McCain is throwing Barack Obama's campaign promises, to which he has just shown to be lies, right into the public eye.

At the same time, Democrats admitted privately that the White House itself has hurt their cause by frightening off Republicans, who negotiated the bill in December but are now in “sticker shock” after seeing the full cost of the new president’s agenda.

The giant measure covers more than a dozen Cabinet departments and represents unfinished business from last fall, when Democrats and the Bush administration were at loggerheads over domestic spending. But in today’s environment — of soaring deficits and unemployment — it’s an explosive mix of parochial projects and new spending. And as Obama himself famously quoted Faulkner in the campaign last year, “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.”

Certainly not for McCain. Monday’s floor speech was the most personal attack yet by the Arizona Republican in what has already become a surprisingly strained, often hostile approach to the new president.

“If it seems like I’m angry, it’s because I am,” McCain said, taking the White House to task for treating the bill as leftover business — and not subject to the full measure of earmark reform promised by candidate Obama.

“Last year’s business?” McCain asked, incredulous. “The president will sign this appropriations bill into law. It is the president’s business. It is the president of the United States’ business. It is the president of the United States’ business to do what he said — stated — when we were in debate seeking the support of the American people — where he said he would work to eliminate earmarks.”

“We need earmark reform and when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure we’re not spending money unwisely,” McCain said, reading back Obama’s words at a debate last fall. “That’s the quote, the promise of the president of the United States made to the American people in a debate with me in Oxford, Miss. So what is brought to the floor today — 9,000 earmarks.…So much for change.”

The House approved the same omnibus measure Wednesday on a 245-178 vote, and Democrats had hoped to quickly move it through the Senate — without change — and send the bill onto the White House by Friday.

To be clear, 40 percent of these earmarks belong to Republicans, with 60 percent belonging to Democratic politicians. Now conservatives have the names of those Republicans and should act accordingly with calls, letters, emails and most importantly, when elections come around, to let them know this pork is unacceptable.

McClatchey points out that Barack Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, has 16 projects, worth about $8.5 million, in the bill the senate is debating now.

Even though President Barack Obama has repeatedly pledged to ban congressional earmarks, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has 16 such projects, worth about $8.5 million, in the bill the Senate is scheduled to begin debating Tuesday.

The earmarks include funds for a Chicago planetarium and a Chicago suburb. Obama has been relentless in criticizing the use of earmarks; in his address to a joint session of Congress last week, he boasted how the economic stimulus package was "free of earmarks."

Commentary Magazine makes a very good point here:

This is, for some, no real surprise. After the pork-a-thon dressed up as a stimulus it should have been clear that we really aren’t in the mode of fiscal restraint or spending sobriety. Nor are we in the “changing the way business is done” mode. Business is being done much the same as it always has been – only faster, with the benefit of one-party rule.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Obama's "change" isn't exactly the type of change that is helping the U.S. economy.

The Obama Economy
As the Dow keeps dropping, the President is running out of people to blame.

As 2009 opened, three weeks before Barack Obama took office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9034 on January 2, its highest level since the autumn panic. Yesterday the Dow fell another 4.24% to 6763, for an overall decline of 25% in two months and to its lowest level since 1997. The dismaying message here is that President Obama's policies have become part of the economy's problem.

Americans have welcomed the Obama era in the same spirit of hope the President campaigned on. But after five weeks in office, it's become clear that Mr. Obama's policies are slowing, if not stopping, what would otherwise be the normal process of economic recovery. From punishing business to squandering scarce national public resources, Team Obama is creating more uncertainty and less confidence -- and thus a longer period of recession or subpar growth.

Thanks to Taxpayers for Common Sense for making the database available to everyone, showing that we will get no relief from our politicians because their "pet" projects are far more important than giving taxpayers any type of relief.