Senator John McCain appearantly dropped off a letter to the people who run PorkBusters. In the letter he rants a little against his party, saying that they deserve to lose their majority. He then goes on to rant a little longer on “Earmarks” and the seems to call for support on the Line Item Veto.
Let me use last year’s highway bill to illustrate how the practice of earmarking has grown and become such a tempting target for abuse. In 1987, President Reagan vetoed a highway bill because it was ten billion dollars over his budget, and contained over a hundred earmarks. He remarked at the time of his veto that he hadn’t seen that much pork since he had “handed out blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair.” The highway bill we passed last year, and which the President signed into law, was twelve billion dollars over his request, and contained 6,731 earmarks, which included the now infamous “bridge to nowhere.”
While I’ll be the first to agree that the “Earmarks”, or Pork, needs to be eliminated, the Line Item Veto is most certainly the wrong way to go about it. What we need is for the Congressmen to be held responsible for overspending the budget. Get rid of the pork. If the congressmen’s states need these items so badly, raise taxes in the state to do it. If the people of the state want it or need it so badly, let them pay for it.
Let me say that there are states like my own(North Dakota) and Montana who have high ratios of miles of Federal Highway to population and the Federal Government should still be in charge of the maintenance of those. But we don’t need the help with our county roads. We don’t need the subsidies of the farming community. Make it a little less easy and you’ll find that many of the things the people claim they “need” will become things that they merely “want”.