the anti-earmarks issue is a fraud. It’s a neocon trick, pushed by the Club for Growth and similar groups. It’s a way for the neocons to seem to be against spending while not actually being against it, and it’s a way to strengthen the presidential dictatorship against the legislature. Once again, earmarks are not spending; they allocate spending, to local pork rather than presidential pork. Ron Paul, of course, does it right. He is willing, as a representative, to request earmarks in appropriations for his constituents’ local projects, but votes against the spending itself.

Another neocon phony-baloney reform is on its way too, if Paul Ryan, new chairman of the budget committee, gets his way. He wants a line-item veto. This again transfers power to the dictatorial executive–already roaming the world like a lion, seeking whom it may devour. Bush and Obama, etc.–indeed, all US presidents–would use such a power not to save money (as if!), but to veto projects the military-industrial complex or Wall Street opposes. It would also allow the executive to threaten any senator of congressman personally, on local spending, in order to get his vote for a war or some other larger criminal scheme. Mitch McConnell is a corrupt old pol. Jim DeMint is a corrupt old pol with a better haircut, and supporters among the most virulent of the religious right. Their competition is over power, and nothing good.

cross-posted from the blog

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