Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) is right. Earmarks must stop. But the point of this, like many other issues, still eludes our lawmakers.
It is not simply the earmarks that are the problem. It is the whole process that is involved in earmarks. And if you are uncertain what earmarks are, here is a quick refresher.
Earmarks are the money legislation directed to specific states by specific lawmakers to bring money back to their districts and states, added onto bills that have nothing to do with the earmark in question. For instance, a bill is written to make trucker's hours lower so the roads are safer. A Congressman in Florida wants to have a turtle habitat built in his district. So, after the bill is voted on as for the trucker hours, he adds an addendum to the bill which is NOT debated NOR voted on. The bill then goes its normal route through the House and Senate. If approved, it goes to the President's desk for a signature. If the bill fails, the lawmaker can say he tried to get money for his constituents, but the evil [insert other party here] killed it. Which, he/she says is why you need to re-elect him/her and vote the [insert evil other party here again] needs to be voted out.
If, on the other hand, it makes it through to law, the money gets sent and the turtle habitat is then built and he/she can l;ay claim to bringing money and/or jobs to the district.
The problem, aside from the sleaziness of doing government business on the taxpayer's dime like this, is that it is how billions of $$$ are spent without any oversight.
The reason regular Americans (and by regular I mean NOT politicians) want these earmarks stopped is that many things are snuck past the people of this country without our knowledge, consent or desire.
The stimulus and the healthcare were two of the biggest loads of crap that did this in the recent history of this country. But it is something that happens ALL THE TIME. And this is what Americans object to. Its not just the occasional useless turtle habitat (or in the real case, a turtle crossing in Florida), it is the way government is being run.
Americans want accountability. From our Congress, our President and our Justice system. Americans want to know what those in Washington are doing. Not just with our money, but with our country. Americans want the secret backdoor meetings to stop. Americans want a window open on and a high intensity light to be shone on all the activities by our elected officials.
From the Cornhusker Kickback to the earmarks in legislation. How hard is it to tackle an issue of legislative necessity without all the add-ons and ridiculous debate that has nothing to do with anything. Stop the 'I'll-vote-for-your-casino-bill-in-Utah-if-you-vote-for-my-gay-rights-bill-in-Cleveland-and-only-if-we-can-combine-the-two-with-the-solar-panel-project-in-Des Moines' mentality.
If a bill is about regulating the housing industry, it should not include a path to citizenship for illegals. If is about approving a budget for the military it should not have anything in it about abortion. The latest mutation of the ages old earmark practice has become about social re-engineering of a country.
After the recent election, the people in Washington, and around the world, need to receive the correct message.
It was not about stopping the Democrat's agenda. It was not about putting Republicans back in power. It was not about a referendum on the President, Speaker Pelosi or any other high ranking politician.
Individually, it was about that. But overall it was about the re-assertion of the power of the American public. It was a proof of life that the American people are awake and not sitting idly by while individuals in our government, or governments and entities around the world, dictate what happens in this country. Although we are a representative republic and not a true democracy, the power is, and has always been, in the hands of the American people.
And this midterm election was about reminding everyone that the people can and will shape their own destiny. We don't need government in our lives telling when, why and for how long to go to the bathroom. We don't need government telling us how much we can make and what we should or shouldn't teach our children. We don't need government chose our healthcare provider or doctor or lawyer or lightbulb maker.
Government is there to be a central focus of our needs, not the other way around.
It is easy to see how they came to believe that we work for them. I mean we work for half a year just to pay into the taxes every year. (Some said it was April 9th this year, others say May 30th or June 8th.) And they spend MILLIONS and hundreds of MILLIONS to get a job that only pays thousands. So it is easy to see how they think WE owe THEM. But it is not the case. And America has spoken loud and clear. Whether through the TEA party (and not any organized version thereof) or through the vote on November 2nd, America has said, enough is enough. Stop the nonsense of overspending, taxing, earmarks, social engineering, free passes for illegal immigrants and all the other stuff you have been ramming down our throats for years. If you don't wise up, we'll vote you out, too!
Now, as usual, you can agree or disagree, and I can go on waxing on the topic if need be until I am understood, but it doesn't really matter what I think. What matters is that you wake up, are awake, and are able to see for yourself through the PR spin and fancy mumbo jumbo of people who really do not have OUR interests in heart no matter what they say. Think for yourself and I will have done my job. But hey, this is just me, Thinking Out Loud.
have a great day! God bless America!