Saving the country is up to us now

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Some may regard this as a "Republican" editorial page. It's not. It's a conservative page.

Sadly enough, there's a difference these days.

And today we are truly wondering if conservatives must give up all together on the Republican Party.

The party certainly blew it during the Bush years, teaming up with the president to spend us to oblivion and ignore the border crisis. But there were signs the party would return to basic conservative principles when every House Republican voted against the stimulus package -- and only three Senate Republicans broke ranks to support the massive bill that no one had read.

Now, however, Republicans are among the chief proponents of some 8,500 "earmarks" in the $410 billion annual omnibus appropriations bill which is needed to keep federal agencies running.

Unbelievable. At a moment in our history in which the economy is tanking, companies are laying off longtime workers and families are sometimes unsure where their next meal is coming from, Congress is spending our money as recklessly as before.

Republicans have blown it all over again.

They had a golden opportunity to differentiate themselves from Democrats with regard to wasteful spending. They had a fastball right down the middle, with a spending bill that includes 8,570 pet projects wasting nearly $8 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Instead, Republicans joined in the raid on the Treasury, shamelessly and shamefully larding up the spending bill with their own little projects they could take credit for back home.

The bill increases federal spending by 8 percent, much greater than inflation.

Those of us who believe in constitutional government, in limited taxation and individual freedom, were crestfallen -- though not terribly surprised -- to see leading Republicans such as Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama go on the talk show circuit and proudly defend the looting of our progeny.

For Mr. Shelby, it is enough that the projects -- in his case, 64 earmarks worth $114 million -- "have merit."

That's it, then -- the test for whether Richard Shelby thinks the federal government should pay for something: whether it has merit. In his eyes, that is.

We have news for the good senator: There are many, many more things you could do with federal money that "have merit," but which you have no earthly business doing with federal taxpayers' money.

We have no doubt, for instance, that streetscaping in Tarrant, Ala., has merit. But is that something taxpayers in all 50 states should fund?

We had long ago given up hope on the majority of Congress to stop spending our children's and grandchildren's money. Now, with few exceptions, it appears we must give up on the whole of Congress.

Who's left?

Well, we are.

When the dust settles from this current plundering of taxpayers, Americans may find that they are the only ones who can save the country from financial ruin. There are no substantive checks and balances between the parties anymore.

It may take nothing less than a constitutional amendment to prevent further attacks on the public vault by our own representatives and senators.

That's quite a statement -- that we've given up hope our elected leaders will save the country. But they're the ones ransacking it.

It's a massive undertaking, too, to even consider changing the Constitution. But there are ways the states can accomplish it without having to go on bended knee to Washington: According to Article V of the Constitution, if asked by two-thirds of the state legislatures, Congress "shall" call a convention to propose such an amendment. It would then be voted on by the states and ratified if approved by three-quarters, or 38 of them.

Washington is simply leaving us no choice.

The stimulus bill was one thing. But this latest omnibus spending bill has erased any doubt.

Saving the country is up to us now.

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Craig Spinks
818
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Craig Spinks 03/12/09 - 12:41 am
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Saving our nation has always

Saving our nation has always been up to us, The People. Look what the politicos, bureaucrats lobbyists and other special interests have done to our nation while we, her people, have been watching television and engaging in other similarly trivial pursuits.

karmakills123
8
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karmakills123 03/12/09 - 04:29 am
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Revolution...................

Revolution..................................

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/12/09 - 04:55 am
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The Augusta Chronicle

The Augusta Chronicle editorial page is not "conservative", it's REACTIONARY! Regarding earmarks: Yes, each earmark should be vetted, but there is no getting rid of them under our political system. The President, any President, wants to get rid of them because that gives him/her more control, but Congressional members also want a say in how money is spent, and Congressional members are elected by the people for whom these earmarks have appeal. Asking a member of Congress to forgo earmarks "for the good of the country" is asking them to go against their own self-interest & that isn't going to happen. Besides The Augusta Chronicle editorial staff (ACES) consistently supported the military & spending polities of the Bush admin over an 8 years which resulted in a DOUBLING OF THE NATIONAL DEBT. ACES never called for a reduction in military spending. ACES never supported increasing taxes to pay for the wars of choice which the Bush/Cheney war regime waged. When ACES writes "Those of us who believe in constitutional government, in limited taxation & individual freedom were crestfallen" I CALL BS ON THAT! ACES never called for military or fiscal restraint during 8 years of Bushonomics.

44mag
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44mag 03/12/09 - 04:58 am
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The majority of the Congress

The majority of the Congress is Democrat. "We" the people voted for them. With them and the RHINOs in charge changing anything will be like pushing a rope. They need to be in fear of losing their "jobs". As long as the culture of robbing the rich to pay the poor exists nothing will change (for the better)! The pure arrogance of a large majority of Congress is overwhelming. Point in case, "we" just re-elected Lindsay Graham (with no help from me).

44mag
0
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44mag 03/12/09 - 05:04 am
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"I CALL BS ON THAT! ACES

"I CALL BS ON THAT! ACES never called for military or fiscal restraint during 8 years of Bushonomics." - So keep right on spending even MORE?

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/12/09 - 05:13 am
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If you need more proof of the

If you need more proof of the years of wasted lives & spendthrift policies during the sorry tenure of President George W. Bush read the AFP news story today in which Sec of Defense Robert Gates (a Republican holdover now in the Obama admin) refutes The Bush Doctrine of preemptive war. "The lessons learned with the failure to find the weapons of mass destruction & some of the other things that happened will make any future president very, very cautious about launching that kind of conflict or relying on intelligence," Gates told PBS television in an interview. The Augusta Chronicle editorial staff (ACES) needs to fess up on exactly what policies & on whose watch this country was driven off a cliff. Instead sanctimonious ACES refuse to acknowledge their own complicity in supporting policies that have led to The Great Recession. ACES seeks to shift blame & obstruct spending designed to engineer this country out of the abyss that REPUBLICAN & DEMOCRAT ESTABLISHMENT policies have led us. True fiscal conservatives would never have gone alone with the illegal, counterproductive, preventive war polices spelled out in The Bush Doctrine or the profligate spending/debt that preceded Obama.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/12/09 - 05:31 am
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Congress had difficultly in

Congress had difficultly in coming up with a $17 billion loan in an effort to save General Motors and 300,000 auto industry related jobs, but Congress funded the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, the U.S. air war in Pakistan & the bogus "War on Terror" to the tune of $200 billion in fiscal year 2009. United States has its priorities all wrong. If the Iraq govt wants U.S. troops to remain in Iraq they should pay the full cost of keeping them there. Afghanistan is known as the graveyard of empires. We have fought there now for 8 years without success. The only success the United States has accomplished by expanding its war in Afghanistan with another war (an air war) in Pakistan is the destabilization of a nuclear armed Muslim nation of 170 million people. Look at the headlines today from the BBC "Clashes mark protests in Pakistan." Retired Lt. Gen. William Odom said almost 5 years ago "The worst case scenario is not civil war in Iraq. The worst case scenario is a regional war." United States cannot win & cannot afford to continue waging wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now in Pakistan with "limited taxation" and reduced spending. ACES & radical rightwing American Idiot warmongers need a clue

justus4
117
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justus4 03/12/09 - 05:36 am
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The Editoral Staff is at it
Unpublished

The Editoral Staff is at it again. Trying to separate Republicans from Conservatives. It won't work and here is why: Individual Freedom. Whose definition do we use? The Editoral Staff? The Governor's maybe? An abortion seems to fit into a individual's freedom to be happy and make their own decisions without the big bad government interferring. But Republicans believe that an individual freedom that violates life (in their mind) must be stopped with the help of the government. A perfect example of a hypocrite. Yeah, Yeah, we know the Bible, but don't force your beliefs on others by using the power of government. And now Mr. Steele (RNC Chairman) is believed to be pro-choice which may get him fired. Yep, the ol' GOP have real issues and their leadership is AWOL along with their poor ideas.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/12/09 - 05:45 am
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Instead of addressing the

Instead of addressing the myriad problems facing this country - including its own red ink and layoffs - The Augusta Chronicle editorial staff throws up a smokescreen of pretend outrage of earmarks as a diversion. United States cannot pay off its debts with "limited taxation". That dog won't hunt anymore. Obama enjoys broad popular support. Republicans forced the war to continue after Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 with its "you can't abandon forces in the field" mantra. Obama will be labeled as "cutting an running" if he precipitously withdraws U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama will make a huge mistake if he escalates the U.S. war in Afghanistan without a Plan B. According to Sarah Chays and others knowledgeable about Afghanistan, ordinary Afghans detest the corrupt U.S. gov't of Hamid Karzai every bit as much as they hate the Taliban.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 03/12/09 - 05:46 am
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Cain, you start with so many

Cain, you start with so many false premises your reasoning falls apart before it begins. Yes the ACES is reactionary. It begins by reacting to what is happening in the news and gives it's reaction to it, usually with a conservative tilt. No, they didn't speak out against national defense. (who would?) Increasing taxes doesn't necessarily relate to increased revenue. In the case of the Bush tax cuts, federal revenue INCREASED by over 10%. Raising taxes wasn't the right thing to do. And the ACES DID call for fiscal restraint and DID react to Bush never vetoing a spending bill loaded with pork. Your rant is based on false assumptions because the ACES wasn't as vehemently opposed to national defense as you.

Ga Values
27
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Ga Values 03/12/09 - 05:46 am
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How about a little

How about a little information about what our 2 RINO/Socialist Senators earmarked. Your boy Saxby is way up there in the earmarks, got to take care of his LOBBYIST son Bo. We need to get rid of Johnny but who will run against him?

robaroo
926
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robaroo 03/12/09 - 05:53 am
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The Chronicle is a little

The Chronicle is a little late coming to the party, but this is the right move. Ross Perot ran on a balance budget platform some years ago and was soundly defeated. Now that the country is teetering on bankruptcy, we're seeing just how right he was. If there was ever a time to clean up the way Washington spends money, it's now.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/12/09 - 06:00 am
0
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And in case the CIA or other

And in case the CIA or other intelligence agencies read this here is a bit of intelligence they need to assimilate: Anti-American sentiment is WIDESPREAD in Pakistan. United States intelligence agencies are making another huge mistake is they fail to recognize the depth and breadth of Anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. By every measure (the loss of human life and $1 Trillion in upfront costs) United States' wars and profligate spending have been entirely counterproductive. Earmark this ACES. There can be no discussion of U.S. domestic spending policies without addressing the costs of ongoing U.S. wars of choice.

Motorman5039
0
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Motorman5039 03/12/09 - 06:04 am
0
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For years nobody gave a damn

For years nobody gave a damn about earmarks, most of us didn't even know what earmarks were prior to last year, now all of a sudden we should "give up" on politicians and the political process...Hmmm, sounds to me like this seditious rhetoric is more like bitter paranoia.Where was the seditious rhetoric when we were sending BILLIONS of $$$$ overseas to countries that hate us but love our $$$$? Where was all this seditious rhetoric when we were selling off ourselves and future to China? Yes, there may be too many earmarks, but guess what? Don't expect me to get angry to the point of "giving up" because at least that wasteful $$$ is staying right here in the good ole USA!!! btw, the PEOPLE are the folks who will benefit from earmarks, good or bad, wasteful or not! If you are looking for a battle cry to muster people into revolution yell about something more damaging than wasting money here in the USA!! At least we can see the waste, instead of phantom investments and projects we fund for other countries that we never will see!

joe hill
9
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joe hill 03/12/09 - 06:05 am
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I'm sick of the argument that

I'm sick of the argument that less taxes leads to increased revenue. The increased revenue came from the bubble that has now collapsed. And that was a result of the Bush administration gutting oversight of the financial industry not tax cuts.

I4PUTT
5
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I4PUTT 03/12/09 - 06:22 am
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I love the logic used by

I love the logic used by folks like motordude. For years we didn't do something so why do it now. I didn't walk for exercise when I was 20,30,40 or until now. But guess what. It sure helps my heart & diabetes that I do it now. I'm sick of the argument that more tax leads to increased revenue. It doesn't. It leads to fewer jobs by small business, fewer new small business opening and large corporations moving their operations off shore. Increased spending when we're broke certainly isn't the answer.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 03/12/09 - 06:48 am
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joe hill, confusing stuff,

joe hill, confusing stuff, isn't it? Your fantasy has no merit.

Brad Owens
5068
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Brad Owens 03/12/09 - 07:03 am
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Well, at least now that they

Well, at least now that they no longer have control, have been ultra wasteful when they were in charge, and are pretty much to blame for a wholeplethora of prolems, these guys call the GOP out on all of it. Nice to see it but not sure if it really means anything. For far too long there was no accounatbility and NOW all of the sudden, when we have a Democratic President and Democratic controlled congress....after they have spent us silly making all their pet projects a reality....after they have squandered SO much...NOW...NOW is the time to stand up and say enough is enough? Now that HUGE amounts of money will be spent HERE in the U.S. we need to get all this under control? Now they are calling on the legislatures to try to force an Amendment to the USC? Where were these guys when the Congress was bullied into war with Iraq? Only now, that they have looted all they can and no longer have the keys to the cash box it's time for REVOLUTION huh? Hypocrites.

Georgiais1
0
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Georgiais1 03/12/09 - 07:25 am
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Joe Hill ...Have another

Joe Hill ...Have another drink and blame Bush. You are sick alright.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 03/12/09 - 07:37 am
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brad.owens, bullied into war?

brad.owens, bullied into war? Revisionist history. part of the '08 election campaign that was begun in 2000. Only when congress was united against the radical Islamists did the campaign stop. Two weeks later, the campaign was back on.

justthefacts
27104
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justthefacts 03/12/09 - 07:57 am
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Same ole Democrat playbook.

Same ole Democrat playbook. Say the repub did it too. Say Bush was worse. Call critics names. Change the subject. We are only missing one tactic. I am sure it will be played before the day is over. Interesting that Obama chose to sign the Omnibus Bill in private vs all the other bills he has signed with great ceremony.

DMac_357
1
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DMac_357 03/12/09 - 08:31 am
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A no-brainer for this story

A no-brainer for this story would've been to report what GA representatives asked for in earmarks not Alabama. Come on Editorial Staff, do your jobs and answer the obvious questions before we start to post on them. How much longer would it have taken you to do that research instead of trying to throw some Alabama senator under the bus. Do we really care what he did versus what the guy who represents us did? Tell us what our guy did first and then report on the other guy if you must.

Niko Mahs
83
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Niko Mahs 03/12/09 - 08:42 am
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Is the ACES finally waking up

Is the ACES finally waking up and seeing the light? Now watch the next Omnibus bill because we will be seeing the earmarks long before the bill comes up for a vote. Then you will see the true GOP'ers. We will not vote for higher spending, when it should be done; but we'll vote for a Confederate park with bronze statues of our forgotten generals who are strategically placed among the magnolia tree and the azaelias. Old Strommy Thurmond was a wizard with the earmarks, but one has to wonder when you look at SC today.

justthefacts
27104
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justthefacts 03/12/09 - 08:55 am
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DMAC, both Ga Senators voted

DMAC, both Ga Senators voted against the bill.

slippery 25
0
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slippery 25 03/12/09 - 09:03 am
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I agree enough is enough. I

I agree enough is enough. I am seeing people who have lived their lives outside the political parties wanting to do something to save our country from these unaccountable spend thrifts. If I had one wish it would be term limits. Earmarks should not be part of any federal bill especially as we are facing such tough times.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/12/09 - 09:04 am
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Will Mark Sanford and/or

Will Mark Sanford and/or Sonny Perdue accept federal earmarked money?

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/12/09 - 09:07 am
0
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Earmarks are as American as

Earmarks are as American as apple pie. Congress including both Democrat and Republican members wants to have a say in how money is spent even during tough times. The decision on how to spend money is a shared decision and not the President's (whether Democrat or Republican) alone to make.

Riverman1
99246
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Riverman1 03/12/09 - 09:14 am
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The Chronicle editorial

The Chronicle editorial writers should have watched Ari Fleischer go at it with Chris Matthews last night. If anyone believes the Democrats wouldn't have out spent Bush 10 to 1 just look at what is going on now. Bush had a war to finance after 911, plus the Medicare prescription bill. I'm sure the Democrats are in favor of the prescription bill. The Chronicle is starting to do the knee jerk, let's blame Bush chant of the Dems. Republicans are the conservative party until something better comes along. They have fought the good fight and held back the Democratic hordes jumping over the walls for quite a while. For the Chronicle to criticise Bush is as Ari Fleischer called Chris Matthews last night, shameful.

justthefacts
27104
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justthefacts 03/12/09 - 09:20 am
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When Obama's name came up,

When Obama's name came up, did Matthews get that tingling running up and down his leg??

justthefacts
27104
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justthefacts 03/12/09 - 09:22 am
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Cain, your comments not with

Cain, your comments not with standing, why did Obama sign the bill? He was pretty clear during the campagn that he wouldn't.

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