Beltway Spin Podcasts

Monday, November 8, 2010

Deficit Watch

Outside of the phrase repeal, the single most used phrase by republicans during the last year was deficits. Yet before the new 112th US Congress can even be sworn in, Republican US Senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, was on a Sunday morning "chat show" (CBS Face The Nation) yesterday back-sliding on the issue of introducing an earmark ban before the new 112th Congress has even been sworn in. Earmarks are government funds that are allocated by a legislator for a particular "pet project", often without proper review. Remember other "pet projects" discovered in past legislation over the years that included things like the study of bees? McConnell proclaimed on the program that earmark bans do not save money.

Over the fiscal years 2008-2010, Mitch McConnell has put in over 158 earmarks totalling $927, 872,000. Earmarks he has done in partnership with other members, 75, total $608, 121, 325. Does this look like the profile of a fiscal conservative to you? It sure does not to me.

Will the corporate media hold the republicans accountable for reducing government spending and lowering the deficit as they have pledged so loudly that they would do if they were in power? Now the republicans have over a 30 plus seat advantage in the US House of Representatives. They cannot just retort and use great slogans like "cut government spending" or "we need to cut spending so we will not saddle our grandchildren with this deficit." They will actually have to cut popular items to balance the budget and reduce the deficit. With the responsibility of winning the majority in the house, they will have to actually now govern. And already it looks like this may be a challenging road ahead for them.

Earmark data from

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