Hypocrisy Watch: Elected as Cost-Cutters, Freshmen Push Spending for Home Districts

While we’re all focused on talks to ensure America pays its bills and we reduce the deficit, this NY Times article caught our attention. Hypocrisy is alive and well among House Republicans:

“Freshman House Republicans who rode a wave of voter discontent into office last year vowed to stop out-of-control spending, but that has not stopped several of them from quietly trying to funnel millions of federal dollars into projects back home.”

“An examination of spending bills, news releases and communications with federal agencies obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows that nearly two dozen freshmen have sought money for projects that could ultimately cost billions of dollars, while calling for less spending and banning pork projects.”

“Politicians have long advocated for projects on behalf of individuals and businesses back home, even without earmarks. Several lawmakers said they were merely providing a constituent service. But since many of the freshman Republicans campaigned on a pledge to cut spending and to change Washington’s time-honored ways, their support of spending projects suggests that in many cases ideology can go only so far in serving the needs of people back home.”

 

And our favorite line:

“Opponents labeled the bridge an earmark, but Mr. [Sean] Duffy and Mrs. [Michele] Bachmann said the bridge was critical to handle increased traffic that an 80-year-old bridge nearby can no longer handle alone. They defend the spending by arguing that it was not an earmark since there were no specific costs listed in the bill itself, nor is it a financing bill. The legislation calls only for a bridge to be built.”

So, if they hide the cost, then it’s ok?