Home / Congress / These Congressmen Are Spending Us into the Poorhouse
Print Friendly and PDF

These Congressmen Are Spending Us into the Poorhouse

Written by Gary North on March 19, 2012

Congressmen have a long-term a strategy of tacking boondoggle spending projects onto bills unrelated to these projects. These unrelated projects are called “earmarks.”

These projects bring federal money into their districts. This is the process called “bringing home the bacon.” It is also called “pork.”

Earmarking is a widespread practice. It has gotten worse in recent years. There is no organized opposition to it in Congress.

The earmarks seem small in relation to a specific bill. But they add up.

The Washington Post recently ran a report in earmark projects since 2008. It identifies some choice examples.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS): obtained a $900,000 earmark to resurface roads where he and his daughter own two homes.  “I didn’t say, ‘Do the street that I live on,” Rep. Thompson protested when the Washington Post confronted him.  “The earmark went to the county.  It had no designation on it whatsoever, and that was it.”

Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-MD): secured approximately $4.5 million for an interstate interchange that leads to Rep. Bartlett’s home, his 104-acre farm, and rental properties that earn him $150,000 annually.  “He was being an advocate for what was presented to him as the highest priority,” the congressman’s press secretary Lisa Wright said.  “Coincidentally, this was around two miles from his farm.”

Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX): bagged $665,000 in taxpayer funds to expand a road 600 feet away from his family’s food processing plant, H&H Foods.  “It helps everybody,” Rep. Hinojosa told the Washington Post.  “The only way it made sense to handle this tremendous population growth and avoid problems for the school buses that go through that intersection was to widen it.”

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA): scored $750,000 for a new bridge three blocks away from a 7,000-square-foot building he and his wife own as well as Columbia Basin Paper & Supply, a janitorial supply company he previously owned that is now run by his brother.  “It never crossed my mind,” Rep. Hastings told the Washington Post.  “Every business in Pasco will benefit by that.”

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MA): landed a $187,000 earmark to replenish a shoreline 90 miles away from his home district near a beach that, coincidentally, he and his wife own two condominiums by that generate $15,000 in rental income.  Rep. Ruppersberger said questioning the proximity of his properties to the project was “ridiculous.”  “That’s a stretch to say that thing’s going to benefit me.”

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA): secured $6.3 million to replenish a beach 900 feet away from a $142,900 cottage he owns.  “It’s absurd to suggest that this benefits me,” Kingston protested to the reporters.  “The beach doesn’t improve the real estate of a house, unless it’s on the beach.  The only thing that changes in value is the beachfront property.”

Rep. John W. Olver (D-MA): obtained $5.1 million in earmarks to restructure a road 209 feet from Rep. Olver’s 15-acre home and several adjoining properties he and his wife own.  “I had no monetary interest whatsoever in this project,” Rep. Olver said.  “I had nothing to with the design.  I was never notified of any of the hearings.  I had no involvement whatsoever.”

Rep. Candice S. Miller (R-MI): obtained a $486,000 earmark that helped add a 14-foot bike lane within walking distance of her house.  “People earmark for all kinds of things,” Rep. Miller said when asked about the project.  “I’m pretty proud of this; I think I did what my people wanted.  Should I have told them, ‘We can never have this bike path complete because I happen to live by one section of it’?  They would have thrown me out of office.”

Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY): secured $7 million in earmarks, a portion of which went to overhaul streets around the corner from a bank where he is director emeritus and owns a $1-$5 million stake in the bank’s holding company and also narrowed the street he lives on to slow traffic.  “Congressman Rogers sees no conflict of interest in helping local community leaders achieve their goals for growth,” the congressman’s chief of staff Michael R. Higdon told the Washington Post.

How much money are we talking about? In 2010, about $32 billion.  How many earmarks were there? About 11,000. So, they don’t seem like much individually, but they add up.

The earmarks represent an attitude: “Don’t cut spending.” This attitude produces $1.2 trillion a year deficits.

The earmarks get lost in the spending. The spending always increases.

Continue Reading on www.breitbart.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

5 thoughts on “These Congressmen Are Spending Us into the Poorhouse

  1. All that morally corrupt padding of their own coffers by our lawmakers is completely legal. Even after having their avoidance of insider-trading laws exposed by "Throw Them All Out" published recently. As long as one other person benefits from their self-serving earmarks, then it's legal. Both parties! Disgusting!

  2. SEAN MURRY says:

    Those corrupted officals need to pay back the money they took from the tax payer.

  3. Worst of all is Roscoe Bartlett, who at one time with Ron Paul was spearheading congressional hearings into legality of income tax, presidential war powers and Federal Reserve System, among many other grievances. The hearings were to take place starting Sept. 22, 2001, but a minor inconvenience called 9-11 happened 10 days prior. Does anyone truly believe 9-11 wasn't part of a larger plan to silence any opposition and serious investigation into legality of so many abuses by the federal government? Since that day, the totalitarian march to Sovietize America has accelerated with blinding speed.

  4. The time is now to drastically reduce the cost of the federal government. Let’s face it, there now is plenty of fat and many superfluous agencies that were created to solve a problem. Instead, they have morphed into gigantic bureaucracies that actually have a negative effect on the economy. You need to reduce the cost of operating the federal government by a minimum of 30%. Each department races to spend its full budget near the end of the fiscal year so that it can get the same or more next year! This must stop – just cut their budgets to the bone! Make them justify every item in their budgets!
    Here’re a few suggestions:
    Reduce the EPA by 95%. It has yet to fully clean up super-fund sites, especially at government bases. It has pushed most of our manufacturing jobs (The life-blood of any country) off-shore. It now threatens to cause power failures and much higher gasoline prices.
    Privatize the Post Office. To fix it would require cutting mail delivery to three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. The employees could work 10 hours on each of these days and five hours each on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday or deliver to staggered areas – some on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Raise First Class rates on ALL mail to $1.00.
    Sell the Post office to UPS and/or FEDEX – they know how to operate efficiently – the federal government does not! Get a large payment up front and royalties forever. This would help reduce the national debt.
    Privatize AMTRAK. Again, a large payment up front and royalties forever.
    Cut the Department of Energy by 98%. It was created to make us energy independent – it has totally failed its mission. It is chasing bird killing windmills and elusive sunlight while ignoring our oil resources, geothermal sources and atomic energy.
    Reduce the IRS by 98%. Eliminate the current tax code that even the Secretary of the Treasury cannot understand. Just charge every person and company a flat tax – what could be simpler? (And close the loopholes that allow traders (or is it traitors?) like George Soros to park their riches outside the country.)
    Sell off 50% of government owned real estate. Proceeds to be used to pay down the National Debt. Private owners would then be subject to real estate taxes, giving the states an income stream that is now badly needed and they will not need to come begging from the federal government.
    Close most military bases on foreign soil – most are left over from WWII – that was over 65 years ago!!! Bring home the 50,000 troops in Europe and the 28,000 troops in Korea. Put them on the borders to shut off the migration of law breakers, drugs and terrorists.
    Privatize the operation of the National Parks. Again payment up-front and royalties forever.
    Eliminate the Department of Education. Its duties belong with the states. It took us from first to 27th therefore failing in its mission. If you allow the state and local governments to COMPETE in the field of education, the level of education will skyrocket. Issue vouchers and let the parents pick the schools for their children. Good schools will grow – bad ones MUST fail. States can then compete for industry based on the level of education in the states. Our country can then be very competitive. Maybe morality will return to the classrooms.
    Eliminate 50% of remaining agencies. Some can be combined. Some can have their duties picked up by the states. Roll back the COLA increase for federal employees to 2005 levels. COLA was negative – just ask those on Social Security. Cut Congressional salaries and staff by at least 50%.
    Eliminate all government pensions. Federal employees – included those elected – should be able to retire (Make it mandatory) at 70 and fare well on Social Security and personal savings – like the rest of us must do.
    Remove the upper limit and maximum contribution to Social Security. Also apply this tax to all forms of income. This will only effect the wealthy that you are currently targeting.
    Reduce the number of senators and representatives by 50%. Two senators from each were needed when all communications was by horseback. Today’s technologies allow one to fully effective, if they choose to be.
    Repeal Obamacare – We don’t need it, we don’t want it and we cannot afford it!
    Have the Federal government purchase only USA made goods! No explanation needed.
    Privatize Fanny and Freddie. They need to sink or swim on their own. Better yet, shut them down!
    Look into eliminating the FCC, HUD, OSHA, NLRB, EPA, CFPB, USDA, Labor, Energy, Commerce, Agriculture and many other unneeded, over-staffed departments.
    Quit funding NPR, NEA, Acorn and Planned Parenthood.
    Quit giving money to countries that do not support our positions.

  5. JayMarie says:

    Grow up you friggin moron. So lets plan this great conspiracy to stop a hearing that would have done absolutely nothing to change D.C. Lets kill THOUSANDS of innocent Americans to stop the Idiot Ron Paul from questioning The Fed. Right. Wake up, don't just smell the coffee – drink it and lay off the Kool-Aid!