Questioning Conservatives

Intellectual discussion of conservative policy, particularly for the renewal or replacement of the Republican Party.


    Pork Barrel Politics

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    Chris "Jesdisciple"
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    Posts : 37
    Join date : 2009-11-03

    Pork Barrel Politics

    Post  Chris "Jesdisciple" on Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:56 am

    Liberal policies aren't the only thing digging our deficit bigger; we have politicians from across the nation who put amendments on bills which grant them money to build projects, such as infrastructure, for their constituents. So we all think we get free stuff when we're actually robbing each other.

    I haven't ever seen anyone support this practice, but what can we do to stop it?


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    SamHamilton

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2009-11-18

    Devolve power from Washington

    Post  SamHamilton on Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:10 pm

    Chris "Jesdisciple" wrote:Liberal policies aren't the only thing digging our deficit bigger; we have politicians from across the nation who put amendments on bills which grant them money to build projects, such as infrastructure, for their constituents. So we all think we get free stuff when we're actually robbing each other.

    I haven't ever seen anyone support this practice, but what can we do to stop it?

    As far the expanding the deficit goes, "pork projects" are a drop in the bucket. Even if we eliminated them the money would still get spent. The only thing that would change is where the money gets spent and who makes that decision. I think the main problem is the unfairness of how we decide where that money gets spent right now. Under the current pork system, whether or not a bridge gets built in one area of the country might depend on how senior your member of Congress is, not on necessity. This is wrong. Charleston, WV has some of the largest and nicest highways in the country. Why? Because the city is the hub of so much commerce? No. Simply because Robert Byrd is the Senator. This stinks.

    My ideal solution would be to hollow out certain federal agencies - reduce their size to a couple accountants and a table. Congress would set budget priorities for all infrastructure and social goods (transportation, telecommunication, education, health care, etc), send that money to the agencies, the agencies would write checks to the state governments (the size of the checks based on population and geographic size) and the state governments would decide where the money would be spent. The decisions would be made closer to the people and we'd have a better chance of stopping wasteful projects. At least in my ideal world this is how it would work.

    Chris "Jesdisciple"
    Admin

    Posts : 37
    Join date : 2009-11-03

    Re: Pork Barrel Politics

    Post  Chris "Jesdisciple" on Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:50 am

    SamHamilton wrote:As far the expanding the deficit goes, "pork projects" are a drop in the bucket.
    10,160 pork projects cost us $19.6 billion in fiscal 2009[1], and Wikipedia says the deficit was $611 billion. So good point. (I'm not going through all the cited Excel documents to see whether that figure is right.)

    SamHamilton wrote:Even if we eliminated them the money would still get spent. The only thing that would change is where the money gets spent and who makes that decision.
    How do you mean? Why can't we subtract $19.6 billion from the $611 billion deficit?
    http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports_pigbook2009 wrote:A "pork" project is a line-item in an appropriations bill that designates tax dollars for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures.

    SamHamilton wrote:My ideal solution would be to hollow out certain federal agencies - reduce their size to a couple accountants and a table. Congress would set budget priorities for all infrastructure and social goods (transportation, telecommunication, education, health care, etc), send that money to the agencies, the agencies would write checks to the state governments (the size of the checks based on population and geographic size) and the state governments would decide where the money would be spent. The decisions would be made closer to the people and we'd have a better chance of stopping wasteful projects. At least in my ideal world this is how it would work.
    I thought we already had that going on. Maybe that's just at the state level? Maybe the state should be responsible for funding the counties?


    _________________
    I expect well-reasoned answers to my questions, and you should call me out on poor logic. I also expect questions from you. I will answer my own questions after you; this isn't merely a blog.

    My words are often misunderstood, so maybe my glossary will help. See here to make your own.

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