Earmarks

A big-picture look at the EDA

A big-picture look at the EDA

While praising the U.S. Economic Development Administration for a small grant to a local institution, the Wichita Eagle editorial board overlooks the big picture. While praising a grant to Wichita State University from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Wichita Eagle editorial board doesn't waste an opportunity remind us of its big-government, anti-taxpayer ideology. (Pompeo would eliminate source of WSU grants, July 11, 2015) The op-ed also criticizes U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, who has sponsored legislation and offered amendments to end the EDA. While the Eagle op-ed is designed to make us feel happy for Wichita State University (and bad…
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Legislation to end Economic Development Administration introduced

Legislation to end Economic Development Administration introduced

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo calls for an end to a wasteful federal economic development agency. If you think a proper function of the federal government is spending your tax dollars to build replicas of the Great Pyramids in Indiana or a gift shop in a winery, you're not going to like legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents the Kansas fourth district, including the Wichita metropolitan area. Others, however, will appreciate H.R. 661: EDA Elimination Act of 2015. In the following article from 2012, Pompeo explains the harm of the Economic Development Administration, which he describes…
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How earmarks pay off for the earmarkers

How earmarks pay off for the earmarkers

The case of a Kansas Congressman benefiting from earmark spending once out of office should make us glad the practice has ended, and we should be wary of those who call for its return. The case of United States House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Member Todd Tiahrt and Neumann Systems is an illustration of the revolving door between government and the private sector. It started with an earmark. An Air Force budgetary document indicates that the earmark spending was at the direction of Congress: "In FY 2006, Congress added $1.2 million for the High Power Fiber Laser Program, and $0.5…
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Did Rep. Mike Pompeo vote to fund Obamacare?

Did Rep. Mike Pompeo vote to fund Obamacare?

A television ad by Todd Tiahrt claims that Mike Pompeo voted seven times to fund Obamacare. What are the facts about those bills? The seven bills referenced in the Tiahrt ad are appropriations bills that fund numerous departments and agencies of the federal government. Three of the bills were to fund the operations of government for as little as one week. One bill was 475 pages in length. Most passed with broad support of Republicans, including the Kansas delegation. Some reduced funding that had been authorized by the previous Congress. Somewhere deep within these bills there may be funding that…
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Kansas was an earmark donor state

Kansas was an earmark donor state

The practice of federal earmark spending was not kind to Kansas, as data shows Kansas was an earmark donor state. The former practice of earmarking federal spending was seen as a way for members of Congress to demonstrate their political prowess by bringing the federal bacon back home to the district or state. Data gathered and analyzed by Brandon Arnold of Cato Institute shows that states differ greatly in the dollars sent to Washington as federal income taxes and the earmarks received. Data for 2009, one of the last years for earmarking, along with Arnold's calculations of a earmark ratio,…
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Congress is better without earmarks

Congress is better without earmarks

Controversy over the timing and efficacy of an earmark divert attention from the fact that earmarks are bad government. Congress is better without the practice. United States Congressional candidate Todd Tiahrt calls for a return to earmark spending in Congress, pointing to a million-dollar grant he obtained for Wichita to help defray costs of the Wichita Police Department in investigating and capturing serial killer Dennis Rader, or BTK. The Daily Caller has a report, as does the Wichita Eagle. Neither story is supportive of Tiahrt's claim that earmarks were responsible for the capture of the BTK killer. Speaking to the…
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Quasi-lobbyist runs as earmarker in Kansas GOP primary

Quasi-lobbyist runs as earmarker in Kansas GOP primary

Washington Examiner writer Tim Carney notices the curious stance of a Republican candidate in the Kansas fourth district primary: He likes earmarks. Washington Examiner senior political columnist Timothy P. Carney knows how Washington works. Of his 2006 book The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money, Paul A. Gigot, who is Editorial Page Editor of the Wall Street Journal wrote "Politicians like to say that government is on the side of the little guy. But with impressive documentation and persuasive examples, Tim Carney shows how government power and regulation are typically used to assist the powerful."…
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For Kansas Senator Roberts, earmark reform not worthy of his vote

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts promotes his fiscal conservatism, but failed to vote in favor of earmark reform in a recent close vote. In 2012 an amendment to a Senate bill was offered that would have dramatically reformed the earmark process. The vote was On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1472 to S.Amdt. 1470 to S. 2038 (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012). The purpose of the amendment, according to Congress.gov, is "to prohibit earmarks." Although offered in 2012, the short title of the amendment was "Earmark Elimination Act of 2011" The nub of the amendment was "It shall not be…
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A referendum on earmarks

From The Weekly Standard, analysis of the primary contest in Kansas district 4, where Mike Pompeo and Todd Tiahrt are candidates. Post by Voice For Liberty.
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‘Earmark Distribution Agency,’ dealer of pork, proposed for elimination

From the office of United States Representative Mike Pompeo, an example of Rep. Pompeo opposing corporate and business welfare that benefits a few parties at detriment to the rest of the economy. Video of Pompeo speaking on the floor of the House on this matter is here, or below. Congressman Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, offered an amendment to H.R. 4660, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015, to eliminate the Economic Development Administration (or the "Earmark Distribution Agency"). The amendment would send EDA’s total funding -- $247 million in FY 2015 -- to the Deficit Reduction…
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Ending the Economic Development Administration

If you think a proper function of the federal government is spending your tax dollars to build replicas of the Great Pyramids in Indiana or a gift shop in a winery, you're not going to like legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents the Kansas fourth district, including the Wichita metropolitan area. Others, however, will appreciate H.R. 887: To terminate the Economic Development Administration, and for other purposes. In the following article from last year, Pompeo explains the harm of the Economic Development Administration, which he describes as a "politically motivated federal wealth redistribution agency." Pompeo…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Wednesday May 2, 2012

When government pays, government controls. Although most liberals would not admit this, it sometimes slips through: When government is paying for our health care, government then feels it must control our behavior. The Wichita Eagle's Rhonda Holman provides an example of this, when she wrote in a blog post about Kansas relaxing its smoking ban: "Especially with Medicaid costs swallowing up the state budget, lawmakers should be discouraging smoking, not accommodating more of it." The moral case for capitalism. "Two main charges are typically marshaled against capitalism: it generates inequality by allowing some to become wealthier than others; and it…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday April 3, 2012

Arts funding. For a view of government arts funding from an actual artist, please read The Government, art funding and Sam Brownback in KS by Christopher Allen. He makes an important point: "The government not paying for you to make something is NOT censorship." I haven't heard government arts funding advocates use the "censorship" word yet, but you can tell it's on the minds of those who feel they should be receiving taxpayer money to support their work. ... Allen also draws attention the incredible freedoms we in America and the free world enjoy regarding art: "If you want to…
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Earmark requests for Kansas

The federal omnibus spending bill introduced earlier this week has now been abandoned. That's good, because even with all the talk about earmark reform, this bill was loaded. Based on a database compiled by Taxpayers for Common Sense, I've compiled a list of earmarks requested for Kansas. These are requested, not passed, and their future status is unknown. The list is presented below. It's illuminating to experience the breadth of earmark requests made and their justifications. Here's an example of just how out of control these requests can become. A request by Senator Sam Brownback, who is soon to become…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday November 29, 2010

Louisville success factor may be gone. The secret sauce behind redevelopment of downtown Louisville, Kentucky may no longer be available to cities attempting to replicate Louisville's success, such as it is. The Washington Post reports in the article Sen. Mitch McConnell's earmark power credited for revitalizing Louisville: "The once grand downtown of this city on the Ohio River is shabby, as the nation's old downtowns tend to be. Magnificent tall cast-iron-fronted buildings sit empty. So do historic brick tobacco warehouses, surrounded in razor wire, tagged with graffiti. But the downtown of Kentucky's largest city also has a spectacular redeveloped waterfront…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday November 18, 2010

But did he vote for him? The press release doesn't say if he voted for the House Speaker Designee, but Congressman-in-waiting Mike Pompeo of the Kansas fourth district is pleased that John Boehner will be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives: "Congressman Boehner and I share the same vision for moving our nation in a new direction. Voters have made it clear they want smaller government, less spending and more individual freedom. The American people have directed us to put our country back on a course toward opportunity and economic prosperity. I look forward to working with Speaker…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Sunday October 10, 2010

Countryman back on air: Gene Countryman, host of a long-running radio show that went off the air earlier this year, returns to the airwaves tonight with the Gene Countryman Show. The new show airs Sunday evenings from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on KNSS Radio 1330 AM. Koch article criticism: Andrew Ferguson, media critic for Commentary, provides a critical look at the left-wing hysteria over Jane Mayer's New Yorker Magazine "exposé" of Charles Koch, David Koch, and Koch Industries. Best quote: "The only support in Mayer’s article for this extravagant charge comes from second-hand assertions, usually in quotes from the…
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Earmarks and Kansas elections

The topic of earmarks is playing a role in contest for the Republican Party nomination for United States Senate from Kansas between Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran. The United States Office of Management and Budget provides one definition of earmarks: "Earmarks are funds provided by the Congress for projects, programs, or grants where the purported congressional direction (whether in statutory text, report language, or other communication) circumvents otherwise applicable merit-based or competitive allocation processes, or specifies the location or recipient, or otherwise curtails the ability of the executive branch to manage its statutory and constitutional responsibilities pertaining to the funds…
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Obama faces earmark test

A test for President Barack Obama is coming up soon. When campaigning for the presidency, Obama pledged to end earmark spending. As reported earlier this year in Time Magazine: "... both Obama and Republican nominee John McCain tried to outdo each other with their pledges to rid Washington of the notorious pet projects that legislators slip into spending bills. Obama, who authored 2007 legislation to overhaul congressional ethics rules governing lobbying and earmarks, runs a real credibility risk when he makes exceptions to his own rules." But did he make a pledge to end earmarks? MediaMatters says he didn't make…
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Earmarks are (not) OK

In a Wichita Eagle letter, writer Prem N. Bajaj of Wichita makes the case that Earmarks are OK. But only by tortured reasoning, in my opinion. First, he states: "Earmarks finance local projects that the community is unable to support." I ask Mr. Bajaj this question: Where, if not from community, does money for earmarks come from? If you consider just two parties -- your local community and the federal government -- earmarks may seem like a great thing. Free money! Who doesn't want that? But communities across the country lobby for and get earmarks too, and they may be…
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