Federal earmarks must be abolished

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Abolish earmarks!

Congress has no business spending tax money collected from across the nation on items that benefit a small number of voters! These are expenditures geared to get votes for a member of Congress to ensure his/her re-election.

For example, why should a taxpayer in, say, Utah pay taxes for a convention center in Myrtle Beach, S.C.? This is a prime example of an earmark and the results thereof. Earmarks should be local/state issues and funded by local/state bond issues, tax levies, etc. In other words, get the money from those who would benefit from the expenditure, not from the federal government.

The recent stimulus package had a reported 9,000 earmarks! If Congress had to consider each of these as a separate bill and pass/fail it on its merits as to benefitting the nation as a whole, my guess is that 99 percent would fail and thus save taxpayers millions and millions of dollars.

Make our Congress members work for re-election by protecting taxpayers from federal abuse, protecting our shores, legislating laws benefitting the country as a whole, etc. I for one would have a lot more respect for them!

Jim Nixon

Aiken, S.C.

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Chillen
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Chillen 02/09/10 - 11:16 pm
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Excellent points! The

Excellent points! The earmark program is rapant with abuse and simply must be completely eliminated. Wait, I thought Obama campaigned on earmark reform. I guess that "change" is coming soon.

orgpsych
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orgpsych 02/10/10 - 03:43 am
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Excellent letter, Mr. Nixon.

Excellent letter, Mr. Nixon. I totally agree.

Stepping away from Chillen's obvious slap at the current administration, both parties have historically had earmarks attached to legislation.

Often incumbents are attacked by their opponents for failing to support one emotional issue or another (they're such BAD guys). What is not mentioned in these ads are what earmarks were attached to that legislation. By voting for the emotional issue, our legislators also vote in such debacles as mentioned in Mr. Nixon's LTE.

Both parties have used such tactics (earmarks and attack ads) to help their candidates position for election/re-election. Mr. Obama campaigned on a platform plank of doing away with these corrupt practices. But, then, so have most of our elected officials. Name one that ran on a position of, "I'll put in more earmarks."

Most candidates have run on a platform of change. Change on the national level comes slowly, especially when it affects something as entrenched as earmarks. To campaign on change in general is standard. To campaign on Change Now is naive at best.

Remember, every item that is ponted out as bad and teh question asked, "Why didn't you change that?" or "I thought you were a candidate for change" is also an indictment of the faults of the predecessor who also had that bad thing going on but chose to do nothng about it.

If you want people to stop blaming Bush, maybe it is time to stop indirectly resurrecting him as a counterpoint. Since there has been no Republican in office since the last election, he is the only relevant reference point.

wildman
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wildman 02/10/10 - 05:24 am
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Amen to the letter and both

Amen to the letter and both comments.

carcraft
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carcraft 02/10/10 - 06:50 am
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Obama said he would go

Obama said he would go throught the budget line by line when debating McCain and do away with earmarks..just another broken promise from Gitmo closing to open health care panels an Cspan to ending earmarks...of cousre nobody has held Obama accountable for his hubris...great letter..

orgpsych
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orgpsych 02/10/10 - 06:54 am
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Carcraft, YOU will hold Mr.

Carcraft, YOU will hold Mr. Obama accountable ... in 2012. Be careful, though, that what you put in is no better.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 02/10/10 - 07:11 am
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We should all hold Obama

We should all hold Obama accountable in 2012 and be careful who we replace him with. We see what listening to the liberal press has led us to elect. The entire congress needs a hard look. 95% of them need to go.

Ga Values
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Ga Values 02/10/10 - 07:35 am
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All of Georgia's Republican

All of Georgia's Republican Congressmen do NOT do earmarks, yet our 2 SOCIALIST Senators are big earmarkers. Why do our RINO Senators waste the taxpayer money? They are in the pocket of LOBBYIST. Saxby's Son, Bo is a LOBBYIST for the Ethanol Industry guess who Saxby really works for.

OIC
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OIC 02/10/10 - 07:53 am
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I say term limits need to be

I say term limits need to be imposed for the house and senate. If it were up to me three two year terms for the House and two three year terms for the Senate. A change would shock the system.

jb5365
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jb5365 02/10/10 - 08:57 am
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The only way to control this

The only way to control this stuff is by making it unprofitable. Where do you think the millions of dollars spent on campaigns for a less than $200k job come from? People that expect to profit from the promises are influential folks who are only out to make a few millions of their own and probably have a few lying about to pay for the campaigns...It`s all about the money!

TechLover
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TechLover 02/10/10 - 09:27 am
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Unfortunately, the US Supreme

Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court decided in 1998 that a line item veto is unconstitutional. The only Ga Reps who didn't request earmarks were, Broun, Price, and Westmoreland. Linder either did not have any approved or has not yet created his link. http://www.washingtonwatch.com/blog/2009/04/12/catalogue-of-fy-2010-earm...

disssman
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disssman 02/10/10 - 09:54 am
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Heck we can't even control

Heck we can't even control earmarks here in the rivercity budget. And we do have earmarks that the commissioners and Mayor want funded not because they are needed projects, rather they are plums that some aupporters want. Just look at what we fund for the "arts" or DDA or Historic Augusta or Augusta Forward and what we pay the directors of these activities and what the average citizen derives from that support.

teharper428
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teharper428 02/10/10 - 10:03 am
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Here's an interesting article

Here's an interesting article from the conservative Washington Times about stimulus funds: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/09/stimulus-foes-see-value-...

Chillen
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Chillen 02/10/10 - 10:05 am
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org - an Obama earmark video

org - an Obama earmark video for your enjoyment - it's only 40 seconds long but pretty telling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZAXLhkAwl8&feature=related

We all agree earmarks need to be eliminated. Both parties are ridiculous and reckless with their spending. But, Obama goes on and on about eliminating them and then puts through a bill with 9000 of them! If he was a man of his word he would have veto'd that bill and demanded that they all be removed before signing it. He deserves a good comment slap, he's the man in charge and he's the one blowing it.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 02/10/10 - 11:41 am
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Another broken

Another broken promise........

"Those of us who manage the publics dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."- President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

Ga Values
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Ga Values 02/10/10 - 01:23 pm
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Chillen, thanks for the link.

Chillen, thanks for the link. I fowarded it to all my friends.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 02/10/10 - 03:25 pm
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Nice letter Jim. Too bad it
Unpublished

Nice letter Jim. Too bad it will never happen, along with other things like term limits and a balanced budget amendment. Neither party will go along with such things.

nazarethfan
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nazarethfan 02/10/10 - 10:30 pm
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Yeah, great idea, Jim. Send

Yeah, great idea, Jim. Send all your SC/GA tax money to California and other states who will galdly take the money. How do you think the South developed over the years....by political power which brought military bases, roads, and research facilities to this neglected part of the country.

Before you go off on spending consider the fact that appropriations bills with earmarks WILL ABSOLUTELY be earmarked (spent) by others if not fought for by our elected respresentatives. If you want to debate shrinking all discretionary spending.....fine....but to eliminate Congressional power to appropriate is just stupid.

More importantly, earmarks make up less than one percent of all discretionary spending by the federal government. To act like earmarks are the real problem with our budget is unequivocal folly. Earmarks, in real terms, are a NON ISSUE.

Finally, Congressional members are there to represent voters and help govern in a way that may improve conditions in a district or state. They are held accountable by voters, and I've not found many, if any, members being defeated on the charge that they received excessive earmarks which helped advance their districts and states. This is not true of the bureaucrats at the DOD, DOE, USDA and other agencies with little knowledge of priorities in a particular state.

So you can focus on this red herring when the real problems (entitlements and defense spending) dwarf this non issue. Give me someone like Saxby and Johnny who actually fight for their state while you support members who pander to politics and are fine with ceding our tax money to other states willing to take it.

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