Remember back in the 2008 presidential campaign when then-candidate Barack Obama promised a “net spending cut,” matching each increase in funding with a corresponding reduction? Remember when he promised to rein in earmarks?
Well, the Democratic Congress has now given him a chance to show that he is a man of his word. In the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, 2008, “we need earmark reform . And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.” And now the Democratic Congress is set to pass a budget-busting spending bill, stuffed with earmarks, more than 5,000 earmarks to be precise “totaling $3.9 billion“.
Will he, as promised, go line by line through this budget and eliminate those 5,000 earmarks?
And the bill with each of them is headed for his desk. Just this morning, Senate Democrats defeated a GOP filibuster of a budget bill not just with a surfeit of earmarks, but also with a steep increase in spending:
The Democratic-controlled Senate on Saturday cleared away a Republican filibuster of a huge end-of-year spending bill that rewards most federal agencies with generous budget boosts.
The $1.1 trillion measure combines much of the year’s unfinished budget work – only a $626 billion Pentagon spending measure would remain – into a 1,000-plus-page spending bill that would give the Education Department, the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and others increases far exceeding inflation.
Emphasis added. Far exceeding inflation? ar exceeding inflation? At a time, when the president has been reiterating his campaign promise to control deficits. Well, here’s your chance, Mr. President, veto the bill and ask that Congress return with a cleaner bill, adjusting the increases to inflation and eliminating all earmarks.