To hear many Republicans tell it: the Stimulus is actually bad for the economy. They voted against it almost across the board. A party line vote.
Yet a number of groups normally friendly to the GOP are taking Republican lawmakers to task for trying to tap into stimulus funds through the backdoor; groups like the American Taxpayers Union and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Almost cynically, these requests have been made privately via letters to the agencies receiving the funds, rather than go on record and request an earmark.
“It’s not illegal to talk out of both sides of your mouth, but it does seem to be a level of dishonesty troubling to the American public,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Here’s a sampling of Republicans challenging the sanity of stimulus funds in public but going through the back door asking for these same funds because they will create jobs:
- Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-MO) — seeking just over $50 million for just two projects.
- Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) — “We know their endeavor will provide jobs and investment in one of the poorer sections of the Congressional District,” he wrote in one letter.
- Rep. John Linder (R-GA) — ranked by the ACU as one of the most conservative Republicans, posted a blog item on his Web site on Oct. 21, stating that recent unemployment figures “only reinforce the fact that the $787 billion ‘stimulus’ signed into law eight months ago has done nothing for job growth in this country” … yet two weeks later wrote in a letter trying to tap into these funds: “… the employment opportunities created by this program would be quickly utilized.”
- Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-UT)
- Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
- Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)
- Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA)
- Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL)
And less major requests were made by eight other anti-stimulus Republicans — and that’s just to one agency: the U.S. Department of Agriculture — plus those are the requests that we now know about. How many more such missives actually exist?
One leading newspaper, normally associated with conservative issues and causes, put it this way “Stimulus foes see value in seeking cash” — Washington Times, February 9, 2010.
These Republicans are just setting themselves up for deserved attacks by both Democrats and Tea Partyers. If not cynics in fact, these lawmakers are just fueling the public cynicism driving populist demand for ‘throw them all out’.
Pork is pork, whether you belly up to the trough like everyone else or try to mug the farmer when he comes out of the barn with a new sack of feed. And just as Orwell’s pigs learned so long again, some animals are more equal than others.
Google who all is seeking pork-to-go without publicly seeking earmarks: Google it now.
This blog item by Bill Golden, AKA Bill4DogCatcher.com and CEO, IntelligenceCareers.com. Let’s put America first. Let’s look beyond political tags, soundbites, and 24/7 campaign rhetoric.