March 25, 2011 | 38 comments
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The Wall Street Journal has a lead editorial arguing that one of the big tests of whether Republicans are serious about limited government is whether they embrace a ban on earmarks. Earmarks only represent a small portion of federal spending, the editors note, but they help grease the wheels of massive spending bills and are also of great symbolic importance. While I agree with this as far as it goes — and support a ban on earmarks — I also think that the overemphasis on earmarks has distracted attention from the much more important issue of how to deal with the entitlement spending mess. Republican candidates were able to run this year on vague promises of cutting wasteful spending. When pressed on ideas to combat the looming entitlement crisis, they’d often talk about how we needed to take on earmarks and pork barrel spending first. What I fear is that if the GOP eliminates earmarks, it will cite that as progress in reducing the debt when running for reelection, once again trying to deflect attention from entitlements. As I demonstrated with a pie chart recently, if you take entitlements and defense spending off the table, you’re only left with 17 percent of the budget from which to make cuts. Putting the primary focus on earmarks would be like a struggling family cutting back on eating out and seeing movies when even after doing all of that, they can’t begin to afford their mortgage and car payments.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?