Exclusive interview: Sen. James Inhofe pushes back on earmark moratorium

posted at 10:55 am on November 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

In a wide-ranging interview this morning exclusive to Hot Air with one of the leading conservative voices in Congress, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma explained why he has decided to oppose the earmark moratorium pushed this week by fellow Republicans like Sens. Jim DeMint (SC) and John McCain (AZ).  The moratorium not only contradicts the Constitution, Inhofe argues, but it puts the power of the purse mainly into the hands of the President — and Barack Obama has already shown that he can’t be trusted with it after his pork-filled stimulus plan from February 2009.  Inhofe warns that “Obama wins” if the moratorium passes, which is why the President has publicly backed the effort.

The Senator knows that I have been a critic of earmarking and have supported a moratorium in the past, and we debated the issue during our conversation.  He didn’t disagree that earmarks have become a cesspool of abuse, but disputed that the moratorium would change anything except authorship.  Inhofe plans to introduce a bill on Monday when the Senate reconvenes that will attempt to stop the abuses, and promises to discuss those provisions further once the bill gets onto the floor.

We also discussed the election, the coming debate on tax increases, and the composition of the incoming freshman class of the GOP. Inhofe says that Democrats are ready to make a deal on the tax rate increases that will automatically take effect if Congress neglects to act, having had their noses bloodied in the election. While he’s very happy about the inroads conservatives have made in the midterms, he’s a little disappointed about the results in Washington, West Virginia, and Colorado, where he campaigned for the Republican candidates with high hopes of success. I asked him about party switchers, and he and I joked about not naming names from places like Nebraska or Arkansas as a matter of manners, but he has some insight into how and why current members of Congress may feel pressure to move away from Democrats. Be sure to watch it all.


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Comment pages: 1 2

So the republicans in congress need earmarks to offset the earmarks Obama will give out. Does that sum up InHofe’s argument?

Zaggs on November 10, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Obama will just use them to shore up his slush fund to bribe the Dems and pay off the unions with. I see Inhofe’s point.

fossten on November 10, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Irrelevance so quickly? Ah, the joys of third party consideration…

beatcanvas on November 10, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Well it doesn’t matter if the Senate uses earmarks if the House refuses to allow them.

dczombie on November 10, 2010 at 11:09 AM

It begins. The GOP can’t even dip their toe in the pool of spending cuts; you expect them to dive in head first??

ernesto on November 10, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Hey! If you don’t vote for the Obama earmarks in committee then you don’t need offesetting ones!

Awwww… thats far too simple for a politician to understand…

ajacksonian on November 10, 2010 at 11:11 AM

It begins. The GOP can’t even dip their toe in the pool of spending cuts; you expect them to dive in head first??

ernesto on November 10, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Don’t be so smug. Your party can’t even decide who’s going to captain the sinking ship.

fossten on November 10, 2010 at 11:14 AM

I’m willing to wait to see the substance of the reform bill, but 1) it had better have real teeth; and 2) even if it does, I expect him to support a moratorium if his bill fails.

mcg on November 10, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Why not make earmark’s stand alone bill’s so they can’t be used to corrupt normal legislation?

heshtesh on November 10, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Inhofe’s argument has some merit. If the money is going to be spent, don’t we need to try and get it spent in our favor?

But it’s not a way to solve our spending problem. What we should do is replace earmark spending with spending reductions. Instead of paying millions for a turtle tunnel, trim those millions from the budget.

hawksruleva on November 10, 2010 at 11:15 AM

It begins. The GOP can’t even dip their toe in the pool of spending cuts; you expect them to dive in head first?? ernesto on November 10, 2010 at 11:10 AM

We’ll see won’t we Che? One thing’s for certain, your party got its clock cleaned by the GOP, didn’t it?

And why was that, Che? Spending and debt, right Che?

They got tossed out on their collective ear for spending us to near bankruptcy, right Che?

Akzed on November 10, 2010 at 11:17 AM

The list if Republicans that need challenging in primaries is growing oh so fast !

Sandybourne on November 10, 2010 at 11:18 AM

They don’t understand the concept of “moral high ground”.

If you can’t say no to a drop in the bucket in terms of the total budget, how are you going to convince the American public they need to take a cut in SS, Medicare, Medicaid.

I’m not sure who is more clueless from the election results, the Dems or the GOP elites.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

WisRich on November 10, 2010 at 11:19 AM

LOL! Looks like Inhofe is out to disprove DeMint’s thesis on Social and Fiscal Conservatism being synonymous!

abobo on November 10, 2010 at 11:20 AM

I would have expected Republicans to at least wait until January before they shoved my vote in my face. Viva earmarks! Viva bankruptcy!

JavelinaBomb on November 10, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Inhofe, you’re doing a damn good job of keeping voter anger hot – but unfortunately, you’re going to direct it right into your own face.

I, for one, have had damn enough of politicians happily or quietly endorsing what their conservative voters want, then promptly making excuses as to why they won’t f@#$ing *do* it.

Inhofe, McConnell et al had damned well better starting paying f@#$ing attention, or it’s *their* a$$es that can be put out to pasture next time as well.

F@#$.

Midas on November 10, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Inhofe’s argument has some merit. If the money is going to be spent, don’t we need to try and get it spent in our favor?

hawksruleva on November 10, 2010 at 11:15 AM

BZZZZZZT

Thanks for playing, but unfortunately, that’s a pretty f-ing stupid strawman, right there.

Refuse to accept the “money is going to be spent anyway” BS right at the outset.

Midas on November 10, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Do both.

Remove earmarks then convince us you are serious about further reform by building upon the example set by having discarded the earmarks.

viking01 on November 10, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Unconstitutional? What the frick is he talking about? So earmarks are enshrined in the Constitution now?

WitchDoctor on November 10, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Imhofe is “one of the leading conservative voices in Congress,” Ed?

Not if he supports earmarks.

Government spending has to be cut, and some of the cuts have to come from the mounds of pork being dished out Congress. If Imhofe and the rest of the squishes can’t see this, they don’t understand the basics of economics — don’t spend what you don’t have, whether pennies or dollars — and don’t deserve to have their hands on the national checkbook.

Imhofe is either senile or corrupt. Either one is grounds to broom him at the earliest opportunity.

MrScribbler on November 10, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Ya know, it’s official – with the commentary coming out of some significant Republicans since the election, I’m more pissed off than I was before the election.

I *expect* insane fiscal behavior from Democrats.

I *expect* political weaselry from Democrats.

I *expect* in-my-face lies and condescension from Democrats.

Therefore I am angered by it, but not surprised by it.

The Republicans have spent the entire last two years pointing at this kind of nonsense and foolishness as being a *bad* thing on the part of Democrats.

And they’re right.

And to see them now intimating that they’ll do the same and to make BS excuses for why it’s now necessary that they do what was *bad* when Democrats do it, well…

There’s a special place in political hell reserved for folks that behave this way. Mr. Inhofe, your reservations have been made, and your table awaits…

Midas on November 10, 2010 at 11:36 AM

leading conservative voices in Congress, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma

Look this is what the elites do. they tried the same play with Rep bacus against Palin. they bring out a “conservative” to seem like the “I’m one of you”

In fact this man is a Senator of the USA one of 100 with the power to direct trillions of dollars. Of course he wants the power to direct those funds to benefit his state, his donors, and himself. that is the nature of power.

Me, as a little citizen do not want the elites to have that type of power because I understand they will use it against my interests, they will use it to solidify their power.

As far as earmarks go he is not one of us he is one of them.

No to earmarks and the reason it is no is because when given the power these Senators have ABUSED us and that power.

unseen on November 10, 2010 at 11:37 AM

The Republicans need to run an ad campaign against earmarking (if they’re serious). Take it right to the people.

Earmarking = bribery and theft.

It’s that simple.

reaganaut on November 10, 2010 at 11:37 AM

We have a lot of work to do on our government…sadly this is going to take longer than I thought.

d1carter on November 10, 2010 at 11:37 AM

What part of “BROKE” it this stool sample having soooo much trouble with?

darwin-t on November 10, 2010 at 11:37 AM

There’s a special place in political hell reserved for folks that behave this way. Mr. Inhofe, your reservations have been made, and your table awaits…

Midas on November 10, 2010 at 11:36 AM

and it is why we need a strong ironclad consitution to stop these idiots from ABUSING their power.

unseen on November 10, 2010 at 11:38 AM

‘If you like your earmarks, you can keep your earmarks’

/bo

lukespapa on November 10, 2010 at 11:39 AM

And this sort of behaviour from the entrenched GOP leadership in the Senate is exactly why the GOP not winning a majority in the Senate was a good thing.

Hellrider on November 10, 2010 at 11:40 AM

And this sort of behaviour from the entrenched GOP leadership in the Senate is exactly why the GOP not winning a majority in the Senate was a good thing.

Hellrider on November 10, 2010 at 11:40 AM

+1000 you here wants to bet how castle would come down on this one?

unseen on November 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Inhofe’s argument has some merit. If the money is going to be spent, don’t we need to try and get it spent in our favor?

hawksruleva on November 10, 2010 at 11:15 AM

BZZZZZZT

Thanks for playing, but unfortunately, that’s a pretty f-ing stupid strawman, right there.

Refuse to accept the “money is going to be spent anyway” BS right at the outset.

Midas on November 10, 2010 at 11:28 AM

So, in five years the Republicans will be echoing the Demwits saying, “Well, if we don’t control everyone’s 401Ks, then the Democrats will. It’s part of the process and it’s to our advantage…blah blah.” There has to be a line, and we must smack their cheeks raw if they step over it.

Jim DeMint for President right now.

Western_Civ on November 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

What is especially enfuriating is the arguement that “the money is already appropriated”

If there is no specific need for the appropriation, CUT THE DAMN APPROPRIATION!

WisRich on November 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM

What?

Someone is going to rob that convenience store anyway, so I may as well knock it over on my way to work and “get mine”.

reaganaut on November 10, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Akzed on November 10, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Not my party. Sorry. You can try your best to make yourself feel better for getting duped by dancing on the grave of democrats, but for that to effect me in any way I’d actually have to give a rats ass about dems.

ernesto on November 10, 2010 at 11:48 AM

So earmarks are enshrined in the Constitution now?

WitchDoctor on November 10, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Who said they weren’t?

ernesto on November 10, 2010 at 11:49 AM

“If the money is going to be spent anyway”?

WTF?!

As another commenter said, I reject that premise right out of the chute!

That money doesn’t belong to anyone other than the taxpayer. Hello? If you are going to spend that money on turtle runs and shrimp hatcheries then the bloody money shouldn’t be in Washington to begin with!

Earmarks are in the Constitution? Really? Where?

Oh, Congress controls the purse strings. Well, here’s an idea – if the money is actually needed for the turtles, put together a stand alone bill and debate it and vote on it – by itself, out in the open. Up or down, one way or another.

What frackin sense does it make to tell me that this is how Congressman bring their constituents tax money back to them. If they are going to get it back, THEN WHY IN THE HELL WAS IT SENT TO WASHINGTON IN THE FIRST PLACE!!

This is the kind of double-talk politi-speak people are fed up with.

CHEESE-AND-RICE!!!!!!!

KHHHAAAAAANNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!

catmman on November 10, 2010 at 11:50 AM

How about legislation that keeps *everybody* from earmarking? What does it take to keep the executive from earmarking? Do that, and stop earmarking in the House.

Sekhmet on November 10, 2010 at 11:50 AM

I used to sort of like this guy Inhofe.
Don’t you just hate it when someone you thought was at least halfway decent turns out to be just another illogical, selfish power seeker?

LegendHasIt on November 10, 2010 at 11:51 AM

The “Health Care Bill” is loaded with what amounts to “Perpetual Democrat Earmarks.”

Until it is repealed, and until provisions in “Health Care” and other bills which effectively move earmark-funding authority from Congress to political appointees within the Administration are repealed, true “earmark reform” is useless…and an unnecessary capitulation to Democrats.

Inhofe is absolutely right.

landlines on November 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Inhofe plans to introduce a bill on Monday when the Senate reconvenes that will attempt to stop the abuses, and promises to discuss those provisions further once the bill gets onto the floor.

How about now? How about we know what he is proposing as an alternative now instead of Monday?

Sekhmet on November 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM

I just want to bang my head against a wall. Do they really think we are so stupid we don’t get the process? Barry can’t spend it either if you don’t authorize it in the House.

CCRWM on November 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Do they really think we are so stupid we don’t get the process?
CCRWM on November 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Yes.

ernesto on November 10, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Midas on November 10, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Add Cornyn and a few others to your list.

Earmarks are what the “establishment” leadership use to bribe other members. It’s why we have these huge incoherent bills of bad laws. It doesn’t cede that power to a president to ban them, either. Republicans seem to be as clueless in the election as the D’rats.

Ernesto, go play “Firing Squad” until you grow up. We’ll deal with you then.

cartooner on November 10, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Inhofe’s total argument is that Obama did worse, and he has a secret alternative plan that he will soon introduce to a Democrat lame duck congress.

A giggling Morrissey let him slip away with that.

elfman on November 10, 2010 at 11:57 AM

I don’t see how earmarks help cut spending. Educate me.

d1carter on November 10, 2010 at 11:58 AM

catmman on November 10, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Amen!

cartooner on November 10, 2010 at 12:01 PM

We need to take Dave Ramsey’s NO!-NO!-NO! scream and put it on a Dennis Miller-style big red button.

slickwillie2001 on November 10, 2010 at 12:02 PM

It appears Senator Inhofe didn’t get the memo. NO F***IN* EARMARKS, PERIOD. Earmarks are just another form of vote buying and garnering financial support for incumbents, pure and simple. If the damn earmark was so important for your State, why didn’t your State cough up their own dough rather than socking it to the taxpayers in every other State. And what can be more dispicable than festooning anonymously crafted earmarks “parachuted” into a bill at 3 a.m.; earmarks that have nothing to do with the legislation proposed in the bill? There’s transparency for accountability for ya!!! It just shows how embarrassed these clowns would be if they actually had to own these outright thefts.

Bob in VA on November 10, 2010 at 12:03 PM

I don’t see how earmarks help cut spending. Educate me.

d1carter on November 10, 2010 at 11:58 AM

They don’t. Your mistake was in assuming the GOP would cut spending.

ernesto on November 10, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Why not make earmark’s stand alone bill’s so they can’t be used to corrupt normal legislation?

heshtesh on November 10, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Which is the exact same thing as ‘no earmarks.’

James on November 10, 2010 at 12:05 PM

I don’t see how earmarks help cut spending. Educate me.

d1carter on November 10, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Well, you see… If you vote for my Inhofe library, I may vote on your spending cuts. See now? You got’a problem with that!

elfman on November 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM

If Obama abuses earmarks even after the Tea Party has eliminated them, he’s toast. America will no longer tolerate crooked politicians standing in the way of serious reform.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma explained why he has decided to oppose the earmark moratorium pushed this week by fellow Republicans like Sens. Jim DeMint (SC) and John McCain (AZ). The moratorium not only contradicts the Constitution, Inhofe argues, but it puts the power of the purse mainly into the hands of the President — and Barack Obama has already shown that he can’t be trusted with it after his pork-filled stimulus plan from February 2009. Inhofe warns that “Obama wins” if the moratorium passes, which is why the President has publicly backed the effort.

Thank God someone else finally gets it!:

So there is a question of semantics when dealing with earmarks, as every state is entitled to some decree of funds from the federal government – we do all pay taxes remember? Most government spending could be defined as “earmarked” spending, but only “pork-barrel earmarks” have been the target of reformers, like Neil Cavuto and Rand Paul!

Rae on November 10, 2010 at 12:17 PM

We need an end to Earmarks, but it isn’t realistic. Congress lives on these bribes and that is how thing have been done in the past. I like the idea of no more earmarks and forcing african genital washing to be voted on as a separate bill. But hey, that’s just me.

If he can put together a bill that will stop the abuse and leave earmarks in, more power to him. But I don’t see how that is possible.

jeffn21 on November 10, 2010 at 12:21 PM

If America realizes a monumental victory against government corruption and see Obama standing in the way, he’s done for. It will be a powerful election issue in ’12.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Inhofe is flat out WRONG! I don’t care what ‘safeguards’ he wants.

If a state project needs federal money, then the state Reps can stand up and argue for it.

We’ve had enough of vote buying with taxpayer funds for un-veted “special projects” (aka PORK).

GarandFan on November 10, 2010 at 12:26 PM

If the Republicans didn’t control the House, then he may have a point. However, since Republicans will control the House, Republicans will control whether appropriations happen. Therefore, the entire argument’s premise, as others have noted, already is untenable.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Senate must pass appropriations bills in the form passed by the House, correct? Otherwise, the bill is unconstitutional, correct?

Scott H on November 10, 2010 at 12:35 PM

If Inhofe and his fellow “earmarxists” had directed half the energy they are expending now into fighting Obamacare, I doubt it would have been law.

This is going to get real ugly. If Bennett and some incumbents were voted out partly as a result of their votes for TARP, just wait till the next primary season when the earmarxists express their “Shock! Shock!” at being voted out on account of their love for earmarks.

TheRightMan on November 10, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Not my party. Sorry. You can try your best to make yourself feel better for getting duped by dancing on the grave of democrats, but for that to effect me in any way I’d actually have to give a rats ass about dems.

ernesto on November 10, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Don’t you have a La Raza rally to attend or something? Stop vomiting all over our threads.

fossten on November 10, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Another Republican Elitist who cant seem to let go of the old business model. This guy goes into the “Doesnt get it” column, and had better watch out come re-election time. The American people are done playing games and working in the traditional scratch my back and ill grimace and scratch yours way. We want honesty and principles, we want shrinking government not expanding. We want our elected officials to work on ending their own jobs not empty rhetoric and smiles.

Koa on November 10, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Boy, there a lot of youse guys that have knee-jerk reactions about this without thinking. I guess that it doesn’t matter if you are led around by the nose ring by a libetard demo or a conserv repub. The “no earmarks at all” arguement is the extreme response to a problem in congress. What this does is let the bureaucrats spend the congressional appropriation anyway they like. Just because congress puts money in the bill for more maintenance and a new mess hall at the local base, doesn’t mean the DoD pukes want that. They may spend the appropriation to support transportation for Pelosi. It is difficult to stop them from doing that, but the base still needs the mess hall. That is where earmarks should come in. Check Inhofe’s earmarks! None of them are bridges to nowhere. They are almost all for necessary projects that the bureaucracy doesn’t want.

Coburn, on the other hand, (my other senator) in his purist “no earmark” stance turned down the widening of I44 from four lanes for five miles, where 12 lanes go to 4 lanes and back to 12 lanes. That took courage, but it took the Cherokee tribe to do the money. By the way, Inhofe worked on that widening for years. Also, by the way, all road maney goes through the political center of the state, OKC, where most of it stays.

We might listen to Inhofe and his ideas about using toe process to control the theft by the bureaucrats while at the same time controlling theft by the congress.

Old Country Boy on November 10, 2010 at 12:56 PM

If you can’t cut the little stuff how can you be trusted to actually make the big cuts.

So far…..once again the GOP in the Senate SUCKS.

PappyD61 on November 10, 2010 at 12:57 PM

What we are witnessing is the death throws of the extreme left. It’s failure was inevitable; it is simply incompatible with the laws of human nature. Even if we lose it ’12, the baby boomers retirement is inevitable and we will win out as long as we stick to what we’ve been doing, (and improve).

So this is how the earmarks battle should play out, IMO:
1) Terminate earmarks
2) ?
3) Obama rubs his greedy little hands together and takes advantage of the cash/corruption windfall that shant be allowed to go to waste.
4) Document it
5) Club him over the head with it in ’12 (figuratively)
6) …along with all of the other clubs in our arsenal we’ve acquired.

The extreme left is done for. Have no doubts.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Here’s a FAIR way to reduce the federal levels of spending.

You could even call it the FAIR SPENDING INCREASE AND ALLOCATION ACT or some total P.C. crapola name like the Dems use all the time.

CUT SPENDING ACROSS THE BOARD 10%……EVERYTHING.

Do that for one year then freeze spending for the next two years followed by increases only for inflation.

PappyD61 on November 10, 2010 at 1:01 PM

the baby boomers retirement is inevitable

Meaning that the worst economic conditions are still to come even if the economy temporarily improves. The more extreme the Democrats get between now and then, the deeper they’re burying themselves in the slightly bigger picture.

Pelosi and Obama, the extreme left, are trapped in a box that is on fire. The only way they can get out is to fundamentally change their nature and govern conservatively; take over the tea party’s role.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM

The “box” portion of my analogy indicates that while they’re in the box they don’t even notice the fire raging outside.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:10 PM

so he wants to pass “real reform” huh? curiously he has waited to advocate this position to this point when earmarks are endangered.

chasdal on November 10, 2010 at 1:14 PM

7) Repeal the burning box full of the extreme lefts Utopian “great accomplishments”.
8) After the country is back on a firm economic foundation then we can consider Inhofe’s earmark reform proposal, but it had better be rock solid.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:23 PM

In a wide-ranging interview this morning exclusive to Hot Air with one of the leading conservative voices in Congress, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma

Ed, you can’t repeat this lie enough times for conservatives to believe it. He is not a conservative if he supports earmarks. Stop repeating the lies of the arrogant elites.

The moratorium not only contradicts the Constitution, Inhofe argues, but it puts the power of the purse mainly into the hands of the President.

While a moratorium may contradict the Constitution that defines the power to spend lies with Congress, I CHALLENGE HIM to find one f-ing earmark that spends money on a Constitutional subject! Earmarks may be Constitutional, but I’ll bet 99.9999% of the money is being spent un-Constitutionally. Given those odds, I’ll take a blanket moratorium thank you very much. Unless of course, he’d be willing to pass a law that states money spent by earmarks on un-Constitutional subjects will result in immediate impeachment of any Congressman that votes it through.

dominigan on November 10, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Ed, you can’t repeat this lie enough times for conservatives to believe it. He is not a conservative if he supports earmarks. Stop repeating the lies of the arrogant elites.

Inhofe has a 100 perfect lifetime rating from the ACU. The same as…Jim DeMint.

Saying he’s “not a conservative” is delusional.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Saying he’s “not a conservative” is delusional.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:36 PM

The ACU ratings aren’t very useful, really. They don’t even factor hot button issues important to conservatives like amnesty.

The ACU’s idea of a conservative is George (I abandoned the free market to save it) Bush.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:44 PM

I assume this is some lefty lie. But if not, then we need to push back and push back hard. Starting with acknowledging the GOP has a bad track record too that it needs to make up for.

Even Michelle Malkin is not cutting W much slack.

But as bad as Bush was with the economy, Obama is just about doubling down. This has got to change because we can’t afford it.

Congress should move to first get rid of Bush’s Medicare prescription drug expansion. Obama has already said he thought it was too expensive. Let him veto that. That would show the GOP is serious about cutting spending and Obamacare can be next in order (and massive entitlement expansion we cannot afford). You do those two changes and you can then work to resolve the problems with social security and medicare.

As far as discretionary spending (including defense), which is at about $1.8 trillion for 2010, how about a 5% cut accross the board, including salaries of all federal employees. President and Congress included. That is doable (are you telling me any agency or defense could not cut 5%) and would send a very clear signal. That would save $900 billion dollars. Too crazy? How about a 2.5% cut? That would save $450 billion.

Mr. Joe on November 10, 2010 at 1:45 PM

The ACU measures establishment conservatism and the establishment is compassionate-conservative.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:46 PM

The ACU ratings aren’t very useful, really. They don’t even factor hot button issues important to conservatives like amnesty.

The ACU’s idea of a conservative is George (I abandoned the free market to save it) Bush.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Um, the top conservatives (standouts) listed in their ratings with a perfect score of 100 (which were used to bash Mike Castle here and elsewhere repeatedly in recent months) are as follows:

BARRASSO

BURR

COBURN

CORNYN

DeMINT

ENSIGN

ENZI

INHOFE

THUNE

VITTER

Now tell me which ones aren’t conservative.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:48 PM

So abuse by congress, and the ability of the elected crooks on both sides of the aisles to buy re-election is exactly what the founding fathers intended. Right.

Amazing, it took exactly eight days for the Republicans to abandon the whole Conservative mantle after winning the election. Somebody check that, is it a record?

Snake307 on November 10, 2010 at 1:48 PM

The ACU measures establishment conservatism and the establishment is compassionate-conservative.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Jim DeMint is an establishment conservative? Tom Coburn?

Come on.

Is that the best you can do – whining about “the establishment?”

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:36 PM

…But I agree that Inhofe is conservative. The only problem is he also sounds too established.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Is that the best you can do – whining about “the establishment?”

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:49 PM

If you’re right then he’ll help us end earmarks, right?

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:50 PM

…Oh, but wait, he’s trying to preserve them. ACU of 100, you say? Hmmmmmm…

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:53 PM

100 doesn’t mean what I thought it did.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:53 PM

If you’re right then he’ll help us end earmarks, right?

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:50 PM

I’m taking Inhofe at his word – which has been good – he’ll propose a bill that will actually make a step toward that end instead of putting earmarks into the hands of the executive branch.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Delusional? Come on. Earmarks are supposed to be the low-hanging fruit. This is the easy stuff. If we’re not even able to trust him on the easy stuff, how the hell is he going to be able to tackle any of the hard stuff. Remember, even HE was against earmarks. Even Democrats give lip service to it. Earmarks should be EASY.

He MAY have BEEN a conservative, but he’s just a flip-flopper now. Conservatives should crucify him at his next townhall meetings.

Btw, I notice you didn’t address my Constitutional argument, because you know I’m right.

dominigan on November 10, 2010 at 1:54 PM

(Actually it does, it’s the ACU that has redefined 100. Shhh.)

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:54 PM

100 doesn’t mean what I thought it did.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Right. Jim DeMint is a RINO.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Delusional? Come on. Earmarks are supposed to be the low-hanging fruit. This is the easy stuff. If we’re not even able to trust him on the easy stuff, how the hell is he going to be able to tackle any of the hard stuff. Remember, even HE was against earmarks. Even Democrats give lip service to it. Earmarks should be EASY.

He MAY have BEEN a conservative, but he’s just a flip-flopper now. Conservatives should crucify him at his next townhall meetings.

Btw, I notice you didn’t address my Constitutional argument, because you know I’m right.

dominigan on November 10, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Why don’t you keep your powder dry until you even see what Inhofe offers in the chamber as his proposal?

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Btw, I notice you didn’t address my Constitutional argument, because you know I’m right.

dominigan on November 10, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Congress has the power to tax and to spend money.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:55 PM

We’ve been hearing this crap for years, but we don’t see any reduction in spending and we see the GOP spending millions of dollars to get re-elected and always will as long as they have the ability to do so. Cut the earmarks, cut spending and cut taxes. We know that will never happen until we get rid of this group of millionaires and get real people who have actually had a job in there, we will never really see change.

flytier on November 10, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Am I missing something here?

How can Obama put money anyplace… unless the House gives away the pursestrings and the Senate signs them away?

Since when can Obama spend Fahd when Congress delegates where it goes?

Time for Issa to track where all the TARP $$$ went, it’s justification for how it was spent, if given to “special interests” get it back…

Add Inhofe to McConnell as 2 to replace with fiscal conservatives during the next election.

Danny on November 10, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:53 PM

We don’t have time to take “steps” toward fiscal sanity. If he means it he’ll back up his words with action and take this opportunity to terminate earmarks.

If not, ACU of 50 may be in order.

It’s not worth checking but I’d bet even McCain is around 80 ACU and he apposes earmarks, (and I don’t even like him). His ACU should be about 30.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Now tell me which ones aren’t conservative.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:48 PM

The ones that don’t adhere to the plain meaning of the Constitution, which defines what Congress is ALLOWED to spend money on, like post offices, roads, the raising and supporting of armies, a standing navy, administration buildings, forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, or other NEEDFUL buildings.

Do you really think 100% of earmarks are spent on the things I just read in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution?

Somehow I don’t think I’m the delusional one…

dominigan on November 10, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Congress has the power to tax and to spend money.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Only on items listed in the Article I Section 8 of the Constitution. All other spending is reserved to the States, as per the 10th Amendment.

dominigan on November 10, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Right. Jim DeMint is a RINO.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 1:54 PM

You said it, not me. I like DeMint and have been a booster of his in the past but he still has problems that don’t even factor into ACU. ACU is worthless here. The commentators here all follow politics enough to have developed their own, personal ratings system for politicians.

And all of the old timers here know that it’s always the RINO McCain supporters that are always touting the ACU ratings.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 2:04 PM

I like Inhofe, too, BTW, but he needs to let go of the establishment.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 2:06 PM

This argument that congress eliminating earmarks places the power of the purse in the hands of the President is – ABSOLUTE CRAP!!!

Then tell me – why did Inhofe and the rest of the lip-service conservatives vote for a moratorium in the past? Oh yes! Because they knew it had no chance of passing – so they played us for suckers!

Congress can start by eliminating earmarks and slashing budgets across board – heck, even a wishy-washy conservative like the UK Prime Minister is starting to implement cuts in their budget. If a government organization has a drastically reduced budget, what are the chances that they would spend it on frivolous pursuits without risking an internal revolution?

Inhofe, McConnell and the rest just want to retain their clout in Congress – because minus the ability to bring home the bacon, a junior Sen. Rubio has about equal influence as the old dinosaurs.

TheRightMan on November 10, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Do you really think 100% of earmarks are spent on the things I just read in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution?

Of course not.

But some are. That’s why a blanket ban on earmarks might not be as effective or practical as, say, a new review process…or a line-item approval process…or a new law requiring votes on certain items, etc.

There are a number of ways this can be done while preserving what both sides would consider legit spending (interstate highways, truly needed infrastructure repairs (not fake ones), certain public utilities, etc).

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Inhofe is a conservative and a good one.

He is just dead wrong on this issue.

catmman on November 10, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Time for Issa to track where all the TARP $$$ went,

TARP was repaid already – with interest.

It’s the stimulus that has all of those missing funds.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 2:46 PM

You know I actually thought my constant nagging about the incompetency of the Repub leadership these last six years would perhaps be behind us with the rise of the Tea party and an general renewed sense of fiscal restraint and small government.

But it’s now clearly hopeless. With Jim DeMint making asinine statements about you can’t be a fiscal conservative without being a social conservative, the possibility of Bachus getting his chairmanship, McConnell scratching the chalkboard everyday and now these stupid remarks about splitting earmark hairs by Imhofe you are simply left with WTF,WTF, WTF!!!!!!!

How the F”K is it possible to be this tone deaf?

If these losers are not removed from their leadership rolls, their speech making on TV etc, any chance of success will be over in two years.

patrick neid on November 10, 2010 at 2:48 PM

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