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  • Morning Bell: It's About the Spending

    Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) ought to be commended for exposing the left’s commitment to reforming the way Washington does business as nothing more than empty rhetoric. Last night Coburn forced votes on two amendments to the $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill that forced liberal Senators to approve of $10 million in earmarks for the clients of a now-disbanded lobbying firm under federal investigation and another $16 million in earmarks for water-taxi services and manure management. But what if the left in the Senate had called his bluff? What if they had stripped the bill of $26 million in earmarks? Would our nation suddenly be on the path to fiscal responsibility? No. Congress would still be set to pass, and President Barack Obama still set to sign, a spending package that increased discretionary spending by 8% for a second consecutive year.

    The problem with earmarks is not $16 million for water-taxis and manure management. All 9,287 earmarks in the omnibus bill come to a total of $12.8 billion, or 3% of the total package. The problem with earmarks is the other spending that 3% buys. As data from the Office of Management and Budget shows, the rise in the number of earmarks tracks closely with the rise in overall spending by the federal government. Sen. Jim DeMint explained the link to Politico last year: “I talked to colleagues who would say, ‘DeMint, I gotta vote for this bill because it has my project in it,’ even though the bill was way over budget.” The evil of earmarks goes far beyond their nominal price tag. The real damage they do to our country is the votes they buy for ever higher levels of spending.

    And ever higher levels of spending are the main priority of the left in Washington today.  Senator Obama co-sponsored more than $90 million worth of earmarks in 2008 appropriations bills that raised discretionary spending by 8% over the previous year. Candidate Obama promised to “go line by line to make sure we’re not spending money unwisely” while proposing $1.4 trillion in new government spending. President Obama held a “fiscal responsibility” summit the week after signing the largest explosion of federal spending since WWII. A cynical person might see hypocrisy in the pattern above. We do not. We see a single-minded consistency: grow the size of the federal government at all costs.

    Even some Democrats are becoming wary of the far left’s spending binge. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) wrote in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal:

    The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year’s levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations.

    Last week I was pleased to attend the president’s White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit. It’s about time we had a leader committed to addressing the deficit, and Mr. Obama deserves great credit for doing so. But what ultimately matters are not meetings or words, but actions. Those who vote for the omnibus this week — after standing with the president and pledging to slice our deficit in half last week — jeopardize their credibility.

    Voters rightly demanded change in November’s election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters’ mandate.

    We couldn’t agree more.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    32 Responses to Morning Bell: It's About the Spending

    1. Danny Fla says:

      Dear Morning Bell: It is apparent that the voice of The American People has landed on deaf ears. I personally tell everyone we have Three Options-Two we know about-one we are using, and another we gravitate toward, but The Third option is one that is sometimes, presented as we do not see it coming. Our history is long, We are really are Americans, and that will become evident.!How we live our lives/ or support the society, is how we have come this far,perhaps its power for the course, But one thing alway's remember, It is our country,and it does not belong to anyone but US.

    2. Tim Pennsylvania says:

      Please print the complete list of earmarks and the co-sponsors. THat way we can write individual emails to each member expressing out outrage.

    3. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      If there was a Liberal Media

      THIS is what would be on PAGE ONE.



      "WASHINGTON — Former top Bush aides Karl Rove and Harriet Miers have agreed to testify behind closed doors to the House Judiciary Committee about the sudden firings of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006."

      Wonder WHY the HF didn't mention it?

      Tell Rush The election is OVER


      It was in the papers and TV,

      guess Rush Missed it.

    4. michael hutchings says:




    5. William Cole - Texas says:

      Comments by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) about members of congress jeopardizing their credibility are laughable. The two most important traits of a leader are the balance of competence and character. It is now painfully evident to anyone capable of rational and logical thought that there are only a few on both sides of the isle that have the traits of a leader. The arrogance and condesention of the rest of them is appaling.

    6. Fred Robinson, Saras says:

      I am very upset that our Democrats continue to ignore the will of the people. America should ban together to revolt.America is truly in danger of loosing our freedom as we know it. I am of the opinion that Obama is a left wing socialist, marxist who is determined to see America fail so as to get his Socialistic government in high gear. We must together bombard our Congress and Senate with our opposition. The Heritage Foundation may wan to consider to becoming a pro active political activest group geared to help the needs of conservatives. Some people are suggesting that we should apply to become illegal immigrants so we can only have to pay back taxes for 2 of last five years and also receive free medical care. Not a bad deal.


    7. Frank W., New Mexico says:

      There are people getting killed along our southern Border and not just Mexicans. That mess is bleeding over into the US. We need to think about putting some guard units down there and helping the Mexican army keep it under control. The politicians just have to suffer losing the Latino vote. Why don't we just send all the drug users in this country down to Mexico, that would solve that problem. Then CBS could put a counter on the screen to show us how many have been killed each day.

      No more money to AIG, the market will bottom out when our president has the guts to tell wall street no more bailouts. Aig is broke, GM is broke, Chrysler is broke, get them off the books and let the good companies that are alive start moving forward.

      Thanks to President Obama's tough line with the Russians, (We'll give up our missle defense units in Europe, if you call Iran for us.), we now have them thinking they will take Alaska back by 2012. We may have to sell it back to them the way our congress is spending money. what in the hell is wrong with this guy, he better go for another ride in Air Force One. He can fly over Chicago for 67,000 dollars an hour. Maybe he can see his house from way up there in the air.

      Only 403 weeks to go folks and maybe we can elect a president that will take the bull by the horns.

    8. Jack Kyle, Lubbock, says:

      Dr Obama believes in the old practice of bleeding the patient. It doesn’t make any difference what is ailing the patient, just open the vein and let them bleed some more. When are those that go to work and earn their own money, and pay their bills going to band together and vote to stop paying for other people’s debts, which is the new form of slavery. Those vampires in Washington have bled us dry and still want more. While we are not as free as we use to be we still have some rights, but the yoke of bondage is being tighten with every passing day. Tax payers of America wake up and let your voices be heard. If we don’t stand together we will be bound together and made to walk in lock-step, good-by American dream.

    9. Dave T Jax FL says:

      I agree it is time for a revolution. Most of us love this country but we are too silent in our condemnation. We tell rush and Sean but do we tell our elected officials enough…? Pres BO made many promises during his campaing that he has already broken, when do we hold him accountable? I voted for Bush twice but would not do so now, my point being the Dems have hated him, with fervor since day 1 and asked for his impeachment… when will they call for his?

    10. Ron, Derry NH says:

      I think we all have known for some time, we are ruled by crooks and thieves, but we have never had parasites so ignorant as to kill the host.

      These buffoons have no inkling of what they are doing and are filling their pockets and their friends pockets like they know the night is coming, thinking their will be safety in numbers, as the hounds of economic ruin come out to feed.

      The correct course of action would be to protect and strengthen the hunter, the business man, the man of action who will set a course of action and prevent all from disaster.

      Yes the JOE THE PLUMBERS of this time.

    11. Matt Bowie, MD says:

      What happens if the Chinese say we wont buy your bonds America?

      What happens if the President negotiates away any position we have with Iran? Will Israel stand dly by?

      We need a quick four years and a new leader.

    12. Dorothy Morgan, Okla says:

      Having just seen bits and pieces of the "ear-marking" scandal on TV, I, too, would appreciate HF publishing a list of states and co-sponsors in Congress from those states to complain to.

      I do know that there are dirty fingers in both parties, just from what little I have seen. We need the whole picture. We adore Tom Cobourn her, of course.

      Pray for America!!

    13. ra,ohio says:

      Contact you're senator/representative and TELL THEM THAT YOU WANT OBAMA/REID/PELOSI IMPEACHED !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I HAVE.


      Do you think 1 million people revolting outside the Whitehouse makes any difference to them at all ???

      They are LAUGHING AT US !!!

      The only thing they worry about is getting re-elected.

      This situation is deplorable.

    14. Tim O' says:

      The Insanity has to stop, and stop now.

      Guess what ObamArama: The UAW, the Teacher's Union, all the unions are invested in the stock market, ALL of them without exception. What is the thinking!?

      ObamArama doesn't even know what a P/E statement is…he's running things!? (Well, since he's never/ever had a 'real' job–mow a lawn as a kid?, work in a grocery store?, work anywhere at anything?, other than a quasi-government/grant 'job'?, made a payroll?, created anything?) No.

      The Marxist DemoRats are now–currently–attempting a Revolution. They are succeeding. And with the help of wimp RINOS. This is not mearly going to Euro-Socialism, this is Marxism.

      TAXPAYERS of the World Unite, you have nothing to Loose but your Chains! (To paraphrase!)

    15. Melissa, Houston,TX says:

      Regarding the earmarks, I was so disgusted to see that 40% came from Republicans especially in a time like this.

      I was really sick about Thad Cochoran, but even more so about Saxby Chambliss. Like many other Conservative Republicans, I sent money to make sure that good old Porxby won the runoff this past December. Also, I would have never guessed that the same Richard Shelby who was so opposed to the Big 3 Bailouts would participate in porking up the budget. These guys obviously didn't get the message in 2006 and 2008. I think we need to clean house for the sake of the conservative movement.

      We have to let our elected officials know that even if it means that our states don't get pork, it is ok. We don't want any part of it.

      I don't want to be responsible for putting more debt on the next generation. To me it seems like blood money.

      God bless America!

    16. Ireland says:

      Gee, Ken more pearls of wisdom. If you are trying to convince us that the media is not liberal leaning that’s not the best way to go about trying to prove it. All I have to do to disprove your notion of a blatant bias of liberal spin in the media is by turning on MSNBC, CNN, and the liberal call to arms the three networks. I can pull up stories in the NY Times, Chicago Sun-Times, LA Times, the St Louis Post-Dispatch and any other liberal news papers online. By not providing a story regarding Karl Rove and Harriet Miers and the Liberal Congress only means it probably on page 2 or 3. So, in case you missed what’s going on WE ARE IN AN ECONOMIC DIASTER FROM THE OVER SPENDING FROM BOTH PARTIES?

      That’s the most important issue in our current Country’s state and the newsmakers are covering that. Come on, they are trying to tell us the Obama’s Economic Plan will work and then they try to point out where it’s working. It’s really hard trying to overturn every rock and gopher hold to find anything positive on our economy. This morning everyone was celebrating that the jobs lost in February was under the January stats. January lost 40,000 more jobs. But, they forget that January has 31 days and February has only 28 days. So, I’m not buying that the package worked, but if you want to believe that, be my guest. That certainly is nothing to celebrate, though.

      But, if you feel the Rove/Miers story is so important because President Bush had the nerve to fire 9 Federal Attorneys, then I’ll ask you were you just as outrage when Bill Clinton fired all 93? My guess is you were not. You do know why he fired them so he could get rid of the one in Arkansas who had 20 plus investigations ongoing on him? If you need me to provide you with the details that were ongoing in Arkansas at the time of the 93 Attorney that were fired, I can.

      One thing is sure, just say no. I hope you don’t work for one of the Hotels on the Vegas strip, I heard this morning that the pink slips are coming. You poor thing you need to stop drinking the Kool-aid. But don’t worry Obama will come to your rescue. Don’t worry I know once again you won’t respond to my comments or answer my questions. Good luck in the job hunt.

      Every one there's another nationwide protest planned for April 15, to find out more information go to this website. http://www.taxdayteaparty.com/ to find information on locations of the protest.

    17. Wallyblu, Zion, IL says:

      Each item must be voted on individually. If there is 2 dollars or 2 million dollars for proposition X that must be voted on before you can vote on proposition Y, no matter what they are about. You can't vote on proposition X and Y at the same time.

      The Legislature must vote on each item individually so we can hold them accountable, the way it is done now they can always say that I had to vote for it because of one good thing in a very bad bill.

    18. Mike, Hickory, NC says:

      The former Republican majority in Congress got villainized, excoriated, loathed, scorned, "tarred, feathered, and lynched", and summarily "fired" from being the majority in Congress for "spending like drunken sailors", and yet the government elitist Democrat Left gets the treat of a "pass" while they make those Republicans look like "penny pinching misers" and bury us all (including subsequent generations yet to be born) under an incomparably growing and inexcusably and unconscionably burdensome, freedom and prosperity-robbing mass of deficit spending and debt (for which, by the way, subsequent generations neither asked for nor should be expected to pay for in any way, in any amount).

      Now three (3) questions:

      1. What's wrong with this all too accurate, all too real, and all too true picture of what is being done by the government elitist Left and their willing accomplices in academia, the media, and elsewhere?

      2. What is "compassionate" and "fair" about it…besides absolutely nothing as it is Leftist government elitist power and money-grabbing, taxing, and spending, all being foisted upon both current and subsequent generations under the false pretense and disguise of "compassion" and "fairness"?

      3. Keeping in mind that not all "Republicans" are true Conservatives, have you had enough Leftist government elitist "Progressive"/Liberal Communism/Socialism (which has already been tried and failed around the world) to finally join the Conservative revolution and rebel against, defeat, and stop such Leftist government elitist taxing, spending, and taking control of everything from personal choices and decisions to employers and jobs, and more, here in “the last, best hope of mankind”, the U.S.A?


      "As government grows, liberty decreases" – Thomas Jefferson, and "Government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem". – Ronald Reagan

      These are facts which have always been proven, and continue to be proven by the Left and other government elitists, such as now by Obama and his Comrades.

    19. Ken in Texas says:


      How long are we going to allow this to continue? Put the blame back where it belongs.

      President “Nero” I mean Obama and his evil users, handlers, what ever you want to call them are striking matches, setting fires, and laughing while “Rome” I mean America is burning. They are driving this great country into ruin. They are making deals with our enemies (Hamas, Russia, Iran, and others we can only guess at).

      Have you noticed the little smirk on Obama’s face when addressing any group or groups? I have. Is it because every word that comes out of his mouth he knows is a lie?

      As Obama reads his speeches, I remember having the same smirk on my face while trying to entice a fish to sallow the phony bait hook line and sinker.

      We the people cannot afford to wait until the end of Obama’s first term. We need to end his term now!!!!! A resounding outcry calling for Obama’s resignation needs to be heard now.

      If one judge in California can overturn the vote of the people, a legal contract between bank and homeowner is changed by one federal judge in America, what is next? Obama’s Democratic Party is waking up and realizes he is not the President they thought he would be.

    20. ella quinn kinston n says:

      Good comments ken and ireland.

    21. ella quinn kinston n says:

      Way to go mike of hickory.

    22. Darvin Dowdy says:

      Its not about spending. Most of the American people know that the democrats are on a drunken, uncontrolled spending spree. Thanks to the Republican Party and the HF allowing Conservative control to slip away. Most people read essays like the Morning Bell above and their eyes glaze over. Thanks for telling us something we already know and hear continuously on a daily basis. Because that's all you people know how to talk about. "Earmarks", "Spending", "Fiscal Responsibility". Symptoms and results of something else gone awry. Something you are too timid to talk about. DD

    23. Robert, Ga. says:

      Maybe it would be meaningful if Congress,both Houses, would apply the health care reforms that are proposed by Pres. Obama to their own health care programs and have to live and work under the rules laid down for the average healthcare recipient.

      The elite can only stand so much, before things are changed to suit their needs and whims. What's fair for the goose should be fair for the gander.

    24. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Ken of LV- Why are you so obsessed with Bush and his cronies? Do you work for a living? Do you have a 401K? Get your head out of you know where and pay attention. Obama and his gang in the Democrat or Socialist Party are eating you out of existence and making you a slave. How could anybody be that invested in political hatred that he can miss the obvious fact that his house is on fire?

      If you love socialism so much you should move to Venezuela. We intend to fight to death here for our freedom and the American founding principles.

    25. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

      As for (quote) "the Democratic party is waking up and realizing that he (Obama) is not the President they thought he would be":

      Quote: “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist

      program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. I no longer need to run as a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.” – Norman Thomas, Socialist Party candidate for President in 1944

      Government elitist so-called “Liberals”, particularly Democrats, and including “Liberal” government elitist “Republicans”, have been getting their government elitist power and money-grabbing way incrementally until now, only temporarily thwarted by Ronald Reagan.

      But now, since “I won”, in the words of Comrade Barrack Obama, and “We won”, in the words of Comrade Nancy Pelosi, the Socialist Left gets to have their way not quite so incrementally but darn near all-at-once!

      Plus, even if we could remove Comrade Obama from the Presidency, other than through the next Presidential election of 2012, the “line of succession” is packed with his Socialist Left Comrades, from Comrade Vice President Joe Biden, to Comrade Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to you name it. Not only that, but both academia and the media are so dedicated to them with such willfully ignorant blindness and devotion that Obama and his Comrades would have to actually and physically take out a gun and murder people with them before their accomplices in academia and the media would even think of really doing anything against them.

      This is what we get now for too many Conservatives (especially “single-issue” Conservatives) “sitting out” the election of 2008.

    26. Barb -mn says:

      LVKen is a perfect example of a victim of indoctrination. One who thinks his perception of any past wrongs should be justified to ignore and/or repeat present and future wrongs until it is indoctrinated as right. His mind is limited to the indoctrination of his education and government. He continues to bring up 8 years of Bush while Obama hasn't been in office for two months.

      I pray he will be able to open his mind to consider all that is necessary that will lead him to the truth and the ability to think for himself…

    27. John Rosina, Bordent says:

      Great piece. The parochial interests of our legislators has definitely caused excessive spending to gain a pet project. It is a reality but not a simple problem to address.

      The US population as a whole rates Congress very poorly, yet they reelect the same Congressman and Senators over and over again. A basic reason for this is that they (my) reps bring home the bacon through pork of interest to me, but the rest of those bums bring home pork to their constituents that irritates me. So I guess I (we) are our own worst enemy.

      Bottom line – pork is a small portion of overall spending, but, as HF points out, the pork leads to an 8% leap in discretinary spending. The interactions of multiple pet projects is revealed as part of the problem.

    28. NH says:

      Er, why would we care about anyone being dragged before a hearing for a trumped up scam when the Democrats have supplied us with so much MORE slime and corruption?

      And, Clinton fired 95 attorneys and no one cared.

      All media is liberal save for a few, but it's kind of hard to make up stuff when your own admin is the slimiest in the shortest amount of time ever…

      Worst. President. Ever. Obama lied, the economy DIED!


      See you on May 30.


    29. NH says:

      YES OBAMA WON, but YOU LOSE because of it!

    30. H L PUCKETT says:


    31. ra,ohio says:

      HL PUCKETT…? How do you know these are the last days?

      Bush tried to stop the mess that the democrats running fannie and freddie got us into, ie; Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters, et al.

      There were many other representatives in congress that tried to stop this mortgage abomination at least since 2001, and they were stopped by the dems on the finance committees in both the house and senate.

      I blame George W for NOT MAKING IT PUBLIC !!!!!

      Someone would have picked up on it and possibly we wouldn't be in this position today.

      HL, Only GOD knows when the last days will be.

      Throughout history, many civilizations have thought the same thing. Do the best you can, and we will restore AMERICA.

    32. Barb -mn says:

      God knows the time of rapture, but the bible informs man will see the signs.

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