I've been light on posting here this week on account of a horrendous work schedule but I've been following the news to the extent possible and thought this story didn't get enough play. After making such a huge deal out of Congressional earmarks, it appears the biggest snout in the feeding trough is Bush's own.
Just a few months after blasting the congressional practice of diverting millions in taxpayer dollars to pet projects, President Bush has slipped into current legislation more than 100 so-called "earmarks" worth over $1 billion -- including nearly $6 million for work on the White House.
In fact, Bush routinely lards all pending legislation with more pork than any legislator but never fear, his press office has an explanation for his hypocrisy.
Sean Kevelighan, press secretary for the White House budget office, explained that Bush doesn’t oppose earmarks. Instead, the president wants to create greater transparency in the appropriations process and ensure that only meritorious projects receive funding.
“We’re not talking about the issue of whether earmarks are all good or all bad,” Kevelighan said. “We’re talking about a process in which taxpayer dollars are being spent in such a way as to be accountable, responsible, and transparent.
Yeah, we get it. Bush earmarks are good and Democratic earmarks are bad. And we're duly impressed with the transparent way Bush delivered a list of his own pet projects for public perusal. For instance, there's those 800 earmarks in the energy and water appropriations bill and 987 specific earmark projects in the 2006 budget for the Army Corps of Engineers, resulting in 77 percent of the Army Corps’s budget being spent on projects designated by our Feckless Leader himself. Remembering the failures of Katrina, I for one would love to see where that money was directed.
It probably went to faith-based river control engineers who make their plans according to the old maxim, the Good Lord put the water there and the Good Lord will take it away.