Georgia lawmakers bringing home omnibus pork

Members of Georgia’s congressional delegation are guilty of porking up the omnibus spending bill:

Georgia lawmakers have added nearly $99 million worth of earmarks to the federal spending bill making its way through the Senate and expected to get President Barack Obama’s signature on Friday. The bill — with a $410 billion total price tag — covers government spending through September.
Included in the earmarks are millions of dollars for improving Georgia roads, sewer systems and airports — including $1.8 million for environmental infrastructure in Atlanta and $1.3 million for clean fuel buses and facilities for MARTA.
Other earmarks include $300,000 to preserve a 1925 train coach repair shop in Savannah, $95,000 for a Jewish retirement community in Atlanta, and $209,000 to study ways to improve blueberry production in Georgia.
[“It’s all economic development,” said U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, a Democrat from Albany. “This is helping pump life into our economy.”
According to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, Bishop either individually or with others got nearly 60 earmarks, the most of any Georgia member of Congress. He and two other Georgia representatives, Jack Kingston, a Savannah Republican, and Jim Marshall, a Macon Democrat, as well as Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, requested the blueberry funding.
Critics say earmarks waste taxpayer money and can lead to corruption, since they’re often tied to requests from lobbyists and big campaign donors.
“The earmark process is just a bad way to get things done,” said Jared Thomas, Georgia director for Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit political group that is a critic of earmarks. “If these things really are intended to stimulate the economy, let’s put it through the general appropriations process where it can be vetted and everybody can see what’s happening.”

Thomas is absolutely correct. The idea behind earmark reform is to bring some transparency to the process and weed out wasteful spending, something President Barack Obama said he supported, but has now proven himself a hypocrite by not telling congressional leaders to weed out pork and earmarks from the already bloated spending bill. This bill is so bad that Democrats in the Senate are planning on voting against it. Don’t tell that to Georgia Democrats, Jack Kingston, Phil Gingrey and our two Senators, all of whom have had a hand in larding up the omnibus.
By the way, Sanford Bishop, who defends his pork, is currently under investigation due to payments his wife received from a program that he secured funding for.
The AJC notes that Paul Broun, Nathan Deal, Tom Price and Lynn Westmoreland have all pledged not to request earmarks. I can’t find any earmarks with John Linder’s name on them either. Good for them on being responsible stewards of taxpayers money.
Taxpayers for Common Sense has a searchable database of the omnibus bill. You can check that out here.

6 Comments on "Georgia lawmakers bringing home omnibus pork"

  1. The Doctor | March 4, 2009 at 11:17 pm |

    The pork in this bill is so evident. Isn’t it nice of them to say we are not going to have these types of projects but $99 million worth of pork is a pretty sizeable sum for just one state. The system has not changed under Obama it is just a continuation of what was happening under the Bush administration.

  2. None of these idiots can go to work without beacon or sausage in their diet.
    Here I am a hard shell Baptist and I am having to pay for a Jewish Retirement Center, a retired airline employee that can’t understand why anyone would want to preserve a TRAIN when the money would be better spent on an airplane,I have never rode on a , MARTA bus and don’t plan on needing a bathroom in downtown Atlanta…. And I hate blueberrys.
    Why am I having to pay for this stuff…
    Oh I forgot …. From those who can to those who can’t …. What was I thinking.

  3. WHAT!!
    You mean there was PORK ,BACON,SAUSAGE wasteful spending in the solution Washington has for the economy?
    After reading what the IDIOTS from Ga inserted,I hate that word but it seemed appropriate,in to the omnibus spending bill I can no longer believe I am being represented by these morons.
    I never go to Atlanta so I really don’t care about their environmental infrastructure. I have never rode a MARTA bus or train. I am a hardshell Baptist and they want me to pay for a JEWISH community center. I retired from the airline industry and can’t believe anyone would want to preserve a train anything when the money would be much better spent on an airplane. And why would I want to grow blueberrys ? They taste awful and besides that they stain your teeth.
    So here I am paying fo all this stuff that don’t improve my ilk in life and all I can say is WHY.
    OH I know …. From them who can but don’t want to, to them who can’t and wouldn’t even if they knew how to…
    Its much easier to spend somebody else’s money so I guess that is why the MORONS in government city,county, state and federal are so good at it …
    IT’s EASY….

  4. John Linder has one BIG earmark. He got $3 million for a FairTax Memorial Museum in Snellville. That baby is toast. The number of cosponsors went down again this year. From 70 to 44. WEAK!

  5. One of my 3 blueberry bushes died this winter. Give me the $209,000 and I will plant 100 bushes to replace the 1. That ought to increase (my) production.

  6. Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution allows Congress to tax and spend only “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.”
    By definition, Congress’ expenditures must be for the general welfare of the nation as a whole, not the welfare of specific individuals or groups.

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