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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Griper Blade: Let the GOP Infighting Begin

Elephants fightingThe internal battle over earmarks in the GOP seems to be all but over. Republicans have decided to unilaterally disarm. There are still a few holdouts, but with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell caving on the issue, things are swinging the anti-earmark way. As a purple state resident, I see (a selfish) reason to cheer here. See, the bluer the state, the more money it pays to the feds in tax money. And the redder the state, the more money it takes out. I've written about it before; "In terms of federal taxes spent in their states, Mississippi gets 202% of every dollar they pay, West Virginia get 176%, Arkansas gets 141%, South Carolina gets 135%, and Kentucky gets 151%. The only state in the five wealthiest that receives more than they pay out is Maryland, at 130%." If you ban earmarks, then red states are going to see a lot less money heading their way and they're going to have to start living in the real world, where their screwy economic flateartherism is no longer subsidized by states with wiser policies. Have fun with that, guys. Enjoy funding your own projects with happy thoughts and good intentions.

Meanwhile, earmarks don't mean crap to the deficit. Earmarks make up less that 2% of federal spending, so eliminating them solves almost nothing. I hate to say it, but Mitch McConnell was right; banning earmarks is dumb -- especially for Republicans. Sure, projects like the "bridge to nowhere" are wasteful, but don't blame the process, blame the corrupt congress members gaming the process. Like a balanced budget amendment, this is a "stop us before we spend again!" measure. It's like putting the blame for running a red light on the lack of one of those railroad crossing gates at the intersection.

But hey, it's a free country. If they want to exercise their Second Amendment rights by shooting themselves in the foot, I'm not very interested in stopping them. As I said, it works out great for me. I should be seeing more Wisconsin tax money coming back to Wisconsin, for a change. States like Mississippi or Kentucky, you're on your own. The free ride is apparently over. Make sure to thank your various elected officials for that...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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