Remarkable Consensus

I was pleased to read from Phil Kerpen on Earmarks:

An amendment to the budget sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) and presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain has been collecting some unlikely cosponsors over the past couple of days, including both Democratic presidential hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The amendment would establish a bold loophole-free ban on earmarks for one year. After the election, the new president and congressional majority would face a choice of bringing back earmarks under some reformed process or extending the temporary ban. Either result would be a major improvement. . . The loophole-free moratorium embodied in the DeMint-McCain amendment would actually end earmarking for at least one year.

Not mentioned there is that this amendment is being opposed by the Senate leadership of both parties. What would draw all the presidential candidates together in opposition to the leadership of both parties? My suspicion was that all the presidential candidates are facing an election but the party leaders in the Senate are not. The reason that would make a difference would be explained by the majority of Americans favoring an end to earmarking.

My confidence in that hypothesis fell when I discovered that Mitch McConnell (the minority leader) is facing re-election (although his 30 point win in his last election might mean that he’s not very worried about his re-election chances). Despite my lowered confidence, that is the best theory I have right now.

Whatever the reason for this consensus, I hope that the amendment passes and is signed by the president.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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2 Responses to Remarkable Consensus

  1. Jason D'Avignon says:

    It could also be said that earmarks is what wins a Senate election, bringing home the bacon to your home state always makes you popular among consituates.

    Running for President, however, presents a different problem that the issue is no longer a local one but national that centers on national spending and the role of government moreso than for those running for Senate.

    In all, this reminds me of how in economics there are major differences between the micro and macro.

  2. David says:

    You make a good point Jason. That plays right into the discussion on my previous post about how we contribute to the problem of money influencing politics when we allow politicians to buy our votes through their use (or promised use) of earmarking.

    I had not considered how the different perception related to the office of President would cause us to vote differently.

    It’s ironic that we would decry excessive government spending and vote accordingly related to the office that is not in charge of that aspect of our government while simultaneously rewarding those who are in charge of spending for their use of this destructive practice.

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