Hidden Earmarks Pick Our Pockets

There are $7.5 billion in unclaimed earmarks. That is, money approved to be spent but has not yet been claimed by the senators that sponsored them.

As a proposal to require full disclosure of all Senate earmarks languishes, senators have not claimed responsibility for at least $7.5 billion worth of projects approved by the Appropriations Committee, according to an analysis by a budget watchdog group.

An earmark in one of the spending bills approved by congress is a $1 million to build a hippie museum about Woodstock. Remember the 60’s? The sponsors of that one are Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer. That one was tucked in the Fiscal Year 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. Details of the 1016 earmarks in this bill, amounting to $392 million, are available at the Americans for Prosperity website.

Remember the ‘transparency’ in budgeting we were promised by Speaker Pelosi? She’s apparently having trouble with that too. Says Steve Ellis, vice-president of programs for a budget watchdog group, Taxpayers for Common Sense. . .

“Part of the whole effort of transparency is to move the budget out of the shadows and into the light. The public deserves to know what Congress and the administration are doing with their tax dollars.”

Earmarks should not be a hidden piggy bank that our representatives can dip into. Can you say pick-pocket? Let the light shine in on earmarks.
Contact Your Representative to Stop Earmarks in Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations and everywhere else.

reference: Taxpayers for Common Sense

Biofuel, A Liberal Record Of Failure

We have the environmentalists to thank for an energy policy that promises not to use it, but to use biofuels instead. And of course we have wimpy politicians that enable them. The financial impact on this increase demand of corn for biofuel production has become oppressive on poor countries like Mexico and the rest of Central and South America who depend on corn as a staple food source.

There is another problem with relying on a food-based biofuel, such as corn ethanol, as the poor of Mexico can attest. In recent months, soaring corn prices, sparked by demand from ethanol plants, have doubled the price of tortillas, a staple food. Tens of thousands of Mexico City’s poor recently protested this “ethanol tax” in the street.

Now the United Nations is saying that the UN cannot afford to feed the world because of the increase in food cost as a result of this increased biofuel demand.

policymakers were becoming more concerned about the impact of biofuel demand on food prices and how the world would continue to feed its expanding population.

Like raising taxes to boost the economy doesn’t fly, trying to use biofuels to replace oil is not only not increasing our domestic oil supply, but it is contributing to a hunger problem in undeveloped and poor nations around the world. It’s like trying to win the war by quitting before we win. Another liberal solution proven to fail that you won’t see much of in the mainstream media. It definitely doesn’t fit the template.

reference: Washington Post, Financial Times

Direct Talks With Iran?

Since Iran has chosen to participate in the war on terror by providing weapons and training to the enemy we are fighting in Iraq, I agree. Says State Dept. spokesman Sean McCormack. . .

“We think that given the situation in Iraq and given Iran’s continued behavior that is leading to further instability in Iraq, that it would be appropriate to have another face-to-face meeting to directly convey to the Iranian authorities that if they wish to see a more stable, secure, peaceful Iraq, which is what they have said they would like to see, that they need to change their behavior.”

It is time for direct talks. In light of all the evidence that shows Iran’s support, it needs to be effective. In this case, something like “halt or I’ll shoot” is in order.