Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Change" you can't believe in

President Barack Obama continues to tell us that his huge money bills do not contain any earmarks or expenditures that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy for most Americans – this is an out and out lie just as most of the Obama’s hard sell of his programs. If you doubt this, consider the following "non-earmarks" in the spending bills (and these are just a few):

$238,000 for Hawaiian canoe trips, research into pig smells, and tattoo removal. The money goes to a sailing club and is backed by Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, Democrat Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii.

New York Democrat Congressman Jerrold Nadler got $4.5 million for new park development in Manhattan.

How about $950,000 to convert a railroad bridge over the Hudson River into a walkway in Poughkeepsie, New York?

$1.7 million for "Swine Odor and Manure Management Research - The swine research center, at Iowa State University in Ames, got funds through the Agricultural Research Service to improve the smell of animals and the lagoons where waste is stored. That's in addition to $1.9 million they received in each of the last two years, or nearly $6 million over the last three years.

There's funding for mosquito trapping in Gainesville, Fla. - requested by Democrat Congressman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. The research was funded at $1.2 million in each of the last two years.

Democrat Congressman Howard Berman got $200,000 for a "tattoo-removal violence-outreach program" in Los Angeles. The money would buy a tattoo-removal machine to help gang members remove evidence of their gang membership.

The watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense calculates that there are an astonishing 8,570 earmarks at a cost of $7.7 billion.

Obama has criticized earmarks and insisted they be kept out of stimulus legislation – not surprising, this drew laughs from Republicans at the president's recent address to Congress. For the rest of us laughs turn to tears as we are asked to pay for them.

But this is only the beginning; Obama also unveiled a proposal that sets aside $634 billion over the next 10 years for health-care reform. He plans for us to pay for it, in part, by limiting (actually removing) tax deductions for families that earn more than $250,000 a year.

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