Thursday, February 9, 2012

They Are Doing Just What You Want

Perhaps you saw this very interesting, recent story from The Washington Post:

Public projects, private interests

The Post compared the annual financial disclosure reports filed by every member of Congress over the past decade to a wide range of public records. The resulting snapshot was then matched to earmarks and other spending provisions members sought for pet projects. The process uncovered nearly 50 members who helped direct millions of dollars in earmarks to projects that either held the potential to enhance the surroundings of a lawmaker's own property, or aided entities connected to their immediate family. Lawmakers said their earmarks and spending provisions were done to benefit the public, not their private interests.

Kent comments:

In perusing the list of offenders, there seemed to be a slight weighting toward the “D” for Democrat members.  But it was very close, so it is not at all a one-party problem.

The problem, in fact, is not with the members of Congress who arranged for spending on projects to benefit themselves and their friends.  The problem is with you.

With a few exceptions, you are mostly likely and American who likes the idea of your members of Congress “bringing home the bacon” for your area.  You probably respond positively when your members of Congress brag about this.

You are probably an American who is in favor of our current system in which everyone is trying to out-plunder everyone else.  You are probably an American who wants government to pay for your goodies.  You consider it a political ‘victory’ if you can get a few more goodies than the people in the next district or state.

You are probably not willing to give up these goodies, even if the system that brings them to you wastes a lot of resources in the process of delivering those goodies to the clamoring crowds.  You just want your goodies.

These nearly fifty members of Congress are simply using the system that you are unwilling to give up to get some things they want.  And the problem is not just that some members of Congress seem to be misusing the system.

The real problem is the system itself, not just the fact of ‘earmarks’ or even the seeming misused of ‘earmarks’ for the personal benefit of members of Congress.  The real problem is that most Americans want to plunder other Americans for all they can get the government to give them.

If Congress spent money only on the items mentioned in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, ‘earmarks’ would not be a problem.  Massive deficit spending by the government would not be a problem.  Many things that are problems now simply would not be on the problem radar at all.

But the Constitution was trashed in this regard long ago, and you want what you want from the government, which is almost everything.  It’s not our government as conceived by most of the founders, but it is what you want.  You say it loudly and clearly by the way you vote and almost everything you do.

So don’t blame these poor saps who are simply gaming the same system that you want gamed on your behalf all the time.  Instead, you should be honest and say to these members of Congress, “Well done, good and faithful servants of the collectivist system.”

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