Wednesday, September 13, 2006

House of Ill Repute

On npr this morning:

House of Ill Repute by Robert Reich

"The number of registered lobbyists in Washington has ballooned to the point there are over 60 of them for every single member of Congress. They spent $2.4 billion last year. What do you think the lobbyists bought with that money?

A lot of it was for earmarks, obviously -- specific morsels of bacon designed to pay off some big donors back home. Most folks back home don't see a penny of it. It goes into the pockets of conduits like Jack Abramoff. And taxpayers foot the bill for all the earmarks for every specially-favored interest all over the country. Ten years ago there were about 3,000 earmarks. Last year there were over 14,000, costing taxpayers over $47 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service."

To show voters they've at least done something, the House leadership is set to require by House rules that legislation containing earmarks list members of Congress who sponsored them. But that’s not reform. That’s advertising. There’s no mystery about who sponsors what earmark. Just look at whose district the earmarked money will go to.

Read all at link above.

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