...Republican Congressman Mike Simpson sent out a "Dear Colleague" letter entitled "The Other Side of Earmarking." In his letter, Simpson vigorously defended the practice of congressional earmarking, asserting that to not allow earmarking would be to defy the Constitution. Simpson went on to say that earmarking was fiscally conservative and that in fact, it cuts the growth of government spending.
Yesterday, Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake sent out his own "Dear Colleague" which took issue with Simpson's position.
In reference to Simpson's claim that earmarking is Constitutional, Flake points out that James Madison, the architect of the Constitution, vetoed the first ever attempt to include earmarks in a spending bill in 1817 saying that earmarking was not an enumerated power of Congress.
Flake goes on to point out that rather than curtailing the growth of federal spending, as Simpson claims, earmarking has been responsible for ballooning costs associated with spending bills, most notoriously in last years pork-laden Transportation bill.
Flake's entire letter is worth a read. So is Simpson's, if only to understand the still predominant warped mindset of too many in Congress.
After what I've been learning about who contributes to Simpson, I shouldn't be surprised that he is strongly fighting for the right to approve pork projects. He must EARN those dollars, you know.
I think it's time for a change... let's send Jim Hansen to DC so we can have a representative who has Idaho citizens and our needs in mind... rather than sending someone owned by PACS and corporations.