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Discussion in 'Politics' started by cookiva, Jan 28, 2008.
Anyone else watching this? Cheney is looking jowlier than ever...
yea im watching.
Ugh. I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take it seriously, and I just couldn't take it.
Thankfully it's the last.
Yeah, I can't watch that cat speak either. It just makes me sad to live here.
Somethings he said were good and other I just can't stand with
I can't be bothered with it. The State of the Union has essentially become self-congratulatory crap with the occassional jab at the party of your political opponents. Its worthless.
It was nothing more than the same old crap he's been saying for the past 8 years.
It was actually almost worse than it usually is...
It was definitely worse than it was in previous years, because Bush made into an hour-long, partisan rant on why Democrats are soft on defense issues and how they're killing the economy with their earmarks (which only make up 2% of the Federal Budget, anyway, and most of those earmarks are for much-needed projects to begin with). He inserted sound bite after sound bite, like he always does, to reflect poorly on the opposition, without offering any solutions of his own.
When you look at defense or homeland security spending Id say they were 'needed'.But most pork projects are insanely ridiculous.
250 thousand to wine and dine at a culinary center in Prosser Washington.
200 thousand for Andre Aggasi's prep school in Vegas
628 thousand to explore grape genetics in Geneva NY
500 thousand for a YMCA in Stark county Ohio
800 thousand for a natural history museum in Minneapolis
I can go on and on with this all day
3.7 million to fight off subterranean termites in New Orleans
2.5 Million to fight off crickets in Nevada
3.4 million to fight the glassy winged sharpshooter in California
Okay, except Congressmen get elected to represent their districts. $4 million for a highway project in Toledo may seem out of line to critics of earmarks, but to the people who have to drive everyday to work on worn-down highway, they absolutely support it.
People like to shout "Oh, those pork projects, they're unnecessary!" But a lot of those projects are necessary and desired by the people who elected their congressman to represent them. Exploring grape genetics may seem stupid to someone who doesn't live in Geneva, but Geneva NY is in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Country. Geneva's economy has been falling apart for two decades, in an area of the state where industrial jobs are leaving and no other jobs are coming in. The wine tourism industry not only brings jobs, but extra money to the economy via tourist dollars. Today, a booming wine industry is essential for the city's economic survival. Since I live(d) nearby, I know what it's like, and it makes complete sense that Congressman Arcuri lobbied for that money.
Money to fight off insects may also seem stupid, but those states have sufficient agricultural resources which wind up devoured by these pests. If some cricket is devouring grapes in California, you want to get rid of it, especially if that region is one of the largest grape suppliers in the country. In that situation, the cricket not only effects the local economy, but it ultimately effects the price of the good as a whole. It's basic economics-- if there are less goods, and the demand stays the same, then price is very well likely to rise. Everyone loses.
A lot of projects are unnecessary. Statues? Sculptures? Billion dollar bridges to islands which only have 54 people living on them? Yeah, those are unnecessary. But Congressmen get elected to represent their constituents, and a big part of that is to secure federal funding for projects which their constituents not only want, but need.
You're splitting hairs. 3.4 million total for Acuris wine project/center.Period -end point.Not all 'monuments to me' come in the form of actual monuments.
I'm not splitting hairs-- I'm telling you why some earmarks are important.
You wrote that it was necessary for that states economic future.The wine industry there is something like $7 billion annually.How is this not pork?
Taxpayers have to cough up 3 million so that state can make wine 'more competitive'? Balderdash I say!
It's not about the state, it's about the region of the state. Western New York is an economically stagnant part of the state. It was once an industrial sector, but industry has since left the region. There are several million people who live there. Thousands of them need employment. The region needs economic growth. Coming from that region myself, there's nothing there. Nothing worth staying around for. And for the people who can't just up and leave, that completely sucks for them.
Upstate New York can't thrive on the money that goes into Manhattan and New York City's economy, because barely a dime gets transferred there. Have you ever heard the saying that "Upstate New York should be it's own state?" Well, it's completely different from Manhattan and the Long Island region. Manhattan is liberal blue; Upstate is a light shade of red. Manhattan is bustling in economic success and job growth; Upstate New York is technically in a recession with one of the lowest job-growth rates in the country.
So for Geneva's wine industry... while it doesn't generate much to the state or federal economy as a whole, it generates a lot to the local economy. It gives people jobs, it's a huge boost to the agricultural sector, and it brings in money from the tourist industry.
I get where youre going with it.Geneva gets its 30 million dollar 'wine institute' and then they build a star bucks, a pizza hut, etc etc..And it will indeed boost that region.
But dont just brush off the idea that its unnecessary when you consider the amount of profit that industry makes.Dont gloss over the fact that Acuri is a member of the Congressional wine caucus.Like I said not all 'monuments to me' come in the form of actual plaques on buildings with your name on it.
Look at the overall picture.Time and again on these boards you hear members speak on Universal Healthcare as an impossibility because we are running a deficit.Public school reform ,,another aspect we cant socialize economically because its wouldn't be a capitalist/democratic of us.
But we can throw money at the private sector as long as theres a regional socialist gain? wtf
Are the breakthroughs they make in genetic wine research going to be proprietary or public domain?Someones going to get rich here off taxpayers money.
PS-Im sick of getting logged out in mid post! someone needs to fix that!
Funding for Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Wal-Mart, etc. doesn't come from federal funding. It comes from local taxpayers who approve those projects, or private franchise owners who take out a lease in an empty building where they plan to begin their business.
The amount of profit the wine industry makes nationally compared to the amount it makes locally is like comparing all the water in the Atlantic Ocean to a pond in your backyard. Is the wine business profitable on the national stage? Yes. Does it contribute money to the national economy? Yes. But does that national success mean its successful on a local front? No. If you have the ability to boost industry and economic growth by exploiting a product which is already heavily grown in the that area of the country, then you should do whatever you can to make it thrive, to fix the economic disparity which has long plagued the region.
Acuri may be looking for a namesake, but just because you think he's looking to metaphorically etch his name in Geneva's wineries doesn't mean he isn't simultaneously helping the economy. Just because the big bad liberal spendaholic is on the wine caucus, that doesn't mean he has ulterior motives which will derail the national economy.
Federal earmarks account for 2% of the federal budget. Currently, $13.2 billion in spending have been considered "pork." That's a relatively small number when you consider how much our federal budget is, and cutting earmarks alone isn't going to fix our deficit problem. In fact, cutting the earmarks which benefit local industry-- like Acuri's wine spending, or the multiple California congressman who want to wipe out the growing sharpshooter population-- will ultimately hurt the economy.
The wine industry in Western New York isn't a private industry, either. It is a public/ private cooperation.
Here's a press release from three years ago discussing the benefits of the wine industry in Western New York:
I wasnt trying to say the starbucks or pizza hut came from federal funding.I was trying to say the wine center brings growth like that to the area.
And I wasnt speaking on the wine industries profit on an national level-Like i said its a $7 billion dollar anual profit in NY state compared to say Cali,where its about $9.5 billion.
And again,I wont source defense spending or homeland security as a pork issue ,so the $13.2 billion is a little 'inflated' when you consider things we do need like F 22 Jet fighters.
While you have in fact sold me on the grape issue, the idea that its a small percentage of our national spending doesnt add up to letting go of the scrutiny.
$25,000 for construction of the Music Conservatory of Westchester and $500,000 for “streetscape improvements,” also in Westchester..How poor is Westchester compare to finger lakes??(Westchester is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation)Ny has a gross state national product of about $800 billion
I'm not saying that all pork projects are necessary. But there are some which are desperately needed, and I feel that attacking all "pork" as unnecessary is really a generalized statement.
What it comes down to is what the people want. People in Maine may not approve of Colorado's defense projects. People in New Jersey may not appreciate destroying insect populations in California to save an entire crop from being destroyed. But why should a senator from Arizona criticize these projects? Why doesn't he look at the massive amounts of money being funneled into Iraq or other services abroad, and try to cut spending there? There's arguably more money in our efforts abroad annually than there is in twelve years worth of earmarks.
I not a big fan of the President Bush, but I do respect the office he hold as Commander and Chief.
Apparently, these soldiers don't.... they refuse to allow President Bush to make a photo-op with them.
What an odd thread to bump to put that in. I wonder how long they got latrine duty for, for that one?
I make some good arguments about earmarks in this thread.