Friday, June 13, 2008

Pork a la Lieberman

The most sanctimonious Senator of them all, who is supporting earmark-hater John McCain for president, has a ravenous appetite for the stuff, according to a new report showing Congress on an election-year binge despite all promises to the contrary.

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Joe Lieberman has led the way in looting the new Defense Authorization bill by participating in 14 requests worth more than $292 million.

But he is not alone in grabbing money for voters back home. "Both parties talk a good game on cutting earmarks, but at first opportunity, the House larded up," said Stephen Ellis of the watchdog group. "This is just another broken promise."

Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake points out that the budget system lets lawmakers use earmarks not only to woo voters but draw campaign contributions from recipient organizations and their lobbyists in what Taxpayers for Common Sense describes as the "pay-to-play system."

The new data show most members of the House Armed Services Committee getting financial returns from companies that benefit from being showered with taxpayer money.

"It's corrupting. It's a much bigger problem than the sum of its parts. It's much more than just waste," says Flake, a critic of both parties. "One good defense earmark can yield tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions."

Meanwhile, fellow Arizona John McCain is running for president on the issue, while his chief cheerleader Joe Lieberman is gorging on one bill alone for more than a quarter of a billion dollars.


Anonymous said...

Brings to mind the word "Hoople" as defined by Tom Wolfe in "A Man in Full".

Mike said...

All that pork, and Lieberman's an Orthodox Jew. Can his religious supporters ever forgive him?