by John Hawkins | February 26, 2009 9:11 am
“The $1.75 trillion deficit projected for this year would represent 12.3 percent of the gross domestic product, double the previous post-war record of 6 percent in 1983, when Ronald Reagan was president, and the highest level since the deficit totaled 21.5 percent of GDP in 1945, at the end of World War II.” — MyWay
Obama’s Budget: Rat poison in the veins of the body politic.
Update #1: From the New York Times,
The House on Wednesday passed a $410 billion omnibus spending bill packed with pet projects requested by Democrats and Republicans alike.
…The new bill, a reflection of Democratic priorities, increases spending on domestic programs by an average of 8 percent in the current fiscal year, which began in October.
…Republicans, however, did not mince words in describing the spending bill as wasteful. And one watchdog group said the bill provided nearly $8 billion for more than 8,500 pet projects favored by lawmakers, including $1.7 million for a honey bee laboratory in Weslaco, Tex.; $346,000 for research on apple fire blight in Michigan and New York; and $1.5 million for work on grapes and grape products, including wine.
Representative John Fleming, Republican of Louisiana, said Mr. Obama’s call for fiscal responsibility, in a speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, was “sandwiched between two wasteful spending bills.”
Representative Mark Steven Kirk, Republican of Illinois, pointed out that the new bill came just two days after the White House held a forum to promote fiscal restraint.
…Representative Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, said it was unseemly for Congress to finance so many pet projects at a time when “the Justice Department is investigating the connection between earmarks and campaign contributions.”
By a vote of 226 to 182, the House killed a proposal by Mr. Flake calling on the House ethics committee to investigate such connections.
…Among the pet projects is one to help producers of genuine pork, in contrast to the Congressional variety. The bill includes $1.8 million to conduct research in Iowa on “swine odor and manure management.”
The legislation includes $173,000 for research on asparagus production in Washington State; $206,000 for wool research in Montana, Texas and Wyoming; and $209,000 for efforts to improve blueberry production in Georgia.
It also includes $208,000 to control a weed known as cogongrass in Mississippi; $1.2 million to control cormorants in Michigan, Mississippi, New York and Vermont; $1 million to control Mormon crickets in Utah; and $162,000 to control rodents in Hawaii.
Democrats also earmarked money for the presidential libraries of three Democrats: Franklin D. Roosevelt ($17.5 million), John F. Kennedy ($22 million) and Lyndon B. Johnson ($2 million).
The bill even includes earmarks requested by some lawmakers who have left Congress, like Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, and Representative William J. Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana.
Update #2: Swiped from the Drudge Report
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