November 13, 2007
-- by Dave Johnson
The other day in What I Expect In 2008 I wrote that, with Iraq out of the news, one of the things the Republicans are going to do in 2008 is make the public think that Democrats are big spenders, and are even worse than Republicans on wasting money through earmarks and pork. (click through to read why Iraq will be out of the news)
This cost the Republicans in the last election and they learned from that. What did they learn? That the public votes against politicians who are accused of spending and pork. What are they doing about it? Accusing the Dems of spending and pork, of course!The public lives in a controlled "information environment." Conservatives begin working well in advance of elections to exert pressure on that environment and prime the public to be receptive later to their issues and candidates. Democrats and progressives, for some reason, do not.
So what is happening in that information environment? Here is just a smattering of what the public was presented with just in the last few days. Never mind the facts, this is what the pubic is hearing. And this is a year before the election. The drumbeat is only going to grow, and grow, and grow, until there is no other story. Good LORD, Democrats, why don't you see what is coming? Why aren't Democrats and progressives out there NOW with a counter-narrative, explaining to the public why conservatives and their ideology are bad for America?
... a spending bill so stuffed with pork as to make a Polish sausage look like a Slim Jim ...
...U.S. senators, primarily Democrats, once again reveal their ravenous appetite for unadulterated pork.
The Club for Growth's latest "rePORK Card" reveals Senate Democrats on average this year scored a dismal 12 percent out of a possible 100 percent in voting down 15 pork-busting amendments.
Despite the Democrats' pledge to get control of their addiction to wasteful spending, their mountain of pork-barrel provisions has prevented Congress from passing its appropriations bills for fiscal year 2008.
. . . All told, this spending package contained at least 2,200 earmarks worth more than $1 billion. Among them, a $1 million earmark for the Thomas Daschle Center for Public Service and Representative Democracy at South Dakota State University, named for the former Senate Democratic leader.
In vetoing the bill, President Bush noted that House and Senate negotiators had ballooned the price tag of the legislation by $9 billion.
. . . Bush has vetoed another spending bill, a $150-billion health, education and labor bill which the White House faults for $10 billion in excessive spending and too much "pork.''
. . . calling it bloated and filled with special projects. It was about $10 billion more than what Bush requested.
"We call on Congress to take out the pork and reduce the overall spending levels and return it to the president," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino as Bush traveled to Indiana for a budget speech.
"Their majority was elected on a pledge of fiscal responsibility, but so far it is acting like a teenager with a new credit card," Bush plans to say in a speech here, according to excerpts provided by the White House. "This year alone, leaders in Congress are proposing to spend $22 billion more than my budget provides. Some of them claim this is not really much of a difference -- and the scary part is that they seem to mean it."
Bush vetoed the measure because of its Bizarro World price tag, which split the difference between a $14 billion House version and a $15 billion Senate version with a $23 billion consensus bill.
. . . And this latest pork platter approves $4 billion worth of work for the Everglades and coastal Louisiana, so even environmentalists who usually despise the corps joined special-interest porkers in attacking Bush's veto.
The White House said the $606 billion education and health was loaded with 2,000 earmarks — lawmaker-sponsored projects that critics call pork-barrel spending — which Bush wants stripped from the bill.
. . .In excerpts of his remarks released in advance by the White House, Bush hammered Democrats for what he called a tax-and-spend philosophy:
Etc. Etc. on and on for the next year...
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