President Bush often denounces the propensity of Congress to earmark money for pet projects. But in his new budget, Mr. Bush has requested money for thousands of similar projects.You’ll find the whole Times analysis here.
He asked for money to build fish hatcheries, eradicate agricultural pests, conduct research, pave highways, dredge harbors and perform many other specific local tasks.
The details are buried deep in the president’s budget, just as most Congressional earmarks are buried in obscure committee reports that accompany spending bills.
Thus, for example, the president requested $330 million to deal with plant pests like the emerald ash borer, the light brown apple moth and the sirex woodwasp. He sought $800,000 for the Neosho National Fish Hatchery in Missouri and $1.5 million for a waterway named in honor of former Senator J. Bennett Johnston, a Louisiana Democrat.
At the same time, Mr. Bush requested $894,000 for an air traffic control tower in Kalamazoo, Mich.; $12 million for a parachute repair shop at the American air base in Aviano, Italy; and $6.5 million for research in Wyoming on the “fundamental properties of asphalt.”
He sought $3 million for a forest conservation project in Minnesota, $2.1 million for a neutrino detector at the South Pole and $28 million for General Electric and Siemens to do research on hydrogen-fuel turbines.
The projects, itemized in thousands of pages of budget documents submitted last week to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, show that the debate over earmarks is much more complex than the “all or nothing” choice usually presented to the public. The president and Congress both want to direct money to specific projects, but often disagree over the merits of particular items.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
From today’s New York Times: