Friday, March 12, 2010

Maybe They're Listening

But not this guy, pictured at right, James Inhofe (R-OK).

House Democrats thought they would be clever and ban earmarks going to "for profit" companies. The House Republicans went them one better and voted to eschew ALL earmarks. Amazing what a few protests over wasteful spending can do. This is more than symbolic. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal editorial, 10,000 earmarks a year are worth $16 billion in added spending. Further, Sen Tom Coburn, Inhofe's saner counterpart from Oklahoma had this to say,

"I've long said that earmarks are the gateway drug to spending addiction in Washington," said Sen. Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma Republican who has crusaded against the practice. "Banning earmarks is a long overdue, common sense step that will help Congress win back the trust of the public and tackle our mounting fiscal challenges."
Exactly. Meanwhile tone deaf establishment Republican Inhofe had this to say in rebuttal.
"By refusing to have projects in Oklahoma, you don't save the taxpayers one cent,'' Inhofe said, adding the money will be steered to projects in other states, either by Democrats in Congress or the administration.

Apparently $16 billion is indistinguishable from one cent; somebody's been in Congress way too long. Time for a primary challenge? Too bad, he isn't up for re-election until 2014. This kind of thing drives me nuts, because Inhofe has been a leading voice in the fight against cap and trade and has almost single-handedly ridiculed it to death and put the warmists on notice about their sleazy methods. Hypothetically, if he was up in 2010, would Tea Partyers support a challenge in the primary? My answer is yes, because it might get him to see the light on this issue.

But the mere fact that Dems think they have to cover their back sides on irresponsible spending, when they used to just ignore the issue, is a sure sign the Tea Parties are having an impact.

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