A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bush Gets One Right

I will get some oxygen ready for BP if he happens by in the near future, but I think even he would agree that this Executive Order is a good thing for the country. Earmarks are a scourge to our economy and our country as a whole, greatly facilitating Congress' ability to kowtow to the lobbyists without ever having to acknowledge their complicity to the actual voters.

Granted, Bush should've done this years ago-- back when his party was running things in Congress and blowhard hogmeisters like Ted Stevens were ramming through ever piece of pork they could dream up-- but better late than never. And yet another argument for divided government.


You're right, Nick; Bush should have done this a lot sooner. There are two aspects of the White House press release that don't give me much comfort that this will do much of anything, though.

First: Last year, President Bush asked Congress to voluntarily cut the number and cost of earmarks in half and to refrain from slipping earmarks into committee reports that never come to a vote in Congress. Unfortunately, neither goal was met – the FY08 appropriations bills passed by Congress contained more than 11,700 earmarks totaling almost $17 billion.

Second: On Tuesday, President Bush will issue an Executive Order directing Federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on and included in a law approved by Congress.

That makes it sound like this Executive Order wouldn't apply to any of the nearly $17 billion in fiscal 2008 earmarks; only to future earmarks that come through.

It seems to me that the only way that Federal agencies would be directed to ignore earmarks under this order during the remainder of the Bush administration would be from a stop-gap or emergency spending bill that comes through with earmarks and isn't vetoed. Any fiscal 2009 appropriations bills that have earmarks and aren't vetoed will come into effect under the next administration, and the new president could easily rescind this Executive Order.

Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but this smells more like political posturing than progress. I hope I'm wrong, but we'll see.
You see, that's the problem.

If this is GOOD, he should have done it sooner. This way, it doesn't apply to him. Like the rest of the laws he's signed.

By doing it now, it's nothing more than political gamesmanship, which is all he's ever been interested in.
BP are you genetically incapable of giving Bush credit? Better late than never is still better.

And hey-- what's up with your blog? I go to take a look tonight and it won't let me in. Says I wasn't invited. You're not going elitist on me are you? Who will keep you high and happy lefties from gleefully drifting off into Completely Irrelevant to Anybody but Us Land?

I kid, I kid. But seriously-- what's the deal?
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