John McCain is back on the pork barrel war path again, because apparently when you have a $1.8 trillion deficit, focusing on a cause that (by even the most outlandish definitions) has cost a grand total of $0.1 trillion over the last 18 years is clearly the most fiscally responsible thing a U.S. Senator can do. (To be fair, McCain used the phrase "wasteful spending," not the word "pork." So okay, it's really more about arbitrarily labeling anything he opposes as "wasteful" rather than finding projects that meet set criteria. Completely different, right?)
McCain Tweeted this morning, "Wasteful spending continues in Washington...so I've decided to resume the Top 10 earmarks of the day, starting w/ the DHS Appropriations Bill". Here are some of his entries:
#1. $325,000 to study seismic activity in Memphis, TN
#2. $125,000 to replace a generator in La Grange Park, IL
#3. $130,000 to relocate the residents of 130 homes in DeKalb, IL...
#5. $4 million for the Fort Madison Bridge in Fort Madison, WI
#6. $3.6 million for Coast Guard Operations Systems Center in West Virginia
#7. $900,000 for the City of Whitefish Emergency Operations Center in Whitefish, MT (Population: 6700)
#8. $300,000 to build a pier at the Coast Guard Academy in CT
So, according to the Republican Party's most recent presidential nominee, funding the U.S. service academies, ensuring fire and border safety in the the American west, expanding the branch of our military that performs S&R and stops drug runners, researching the potentially dangerous fault lines beneath the South and Midwest, and repairing our nation's crumbling infrastructure - even after the Minnesota bridge collapse - all count as "wasteful spending."
Calling his number 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8 projects "wasteful" is absolutely ridiculous. As for numbers 2 and 3, I need more information. Where is his generator? At a hospital? At a federal office building? Wouldn't those warrant replacing? And if elsewhere, why didn't McCain say so? And as for those 130 DeKalb homes, what's the reason for the project? Is this repayment for some sort of federal eminent domain? "Relocation" in and of itself isn't enough to get my hackles up... (Update: mcc notes in the comment section that this is flood-related relocation and suggests that McCain's true definition of wasteful spending is "the government spending some money now to save more money later." End update.)
At this rate, I'm surprised the number one project on McCain's list wasn't port security or defense satellites. John McCain and the new GOP: saying no to infrastructure, weather safety, and the U.S. service academies. Being the party of no only takes you so far when over half the true/false answers are actually "true."
Originally posted at Blue Moose Democrat.