Jack Kingston fires back at conservative bloggers who questioned his commitment to eliminating wasteful pork and shrinking the size of goverment.
His press secretary implies that I thought he should "hide under a rock" and not expose sunlight. I meant that hiding under a rock would be in his best interests. Clearly, the taxpayers and conservative press benefit from Kingston being so blunt in his unwillingness to practice true fiscal discipline.
Interestingly, instead of defending his own record, he goes for broke and defends the entire wasteful Appropriations Committee. Ah, yes, the noble, fiscally discplined House Appropriations Committee. This must be the same committee that shoveled millions to a technology the military didn't want, but Jim Moran did. The same committee that Jim Moran can expect to "earmark the s***" out of. The same committee whose chairman blocked a budget because it restricted the committee's discretion over emergency supplementals and the number of pork projects it could load on to appropriations bills.
And as I recall, Jack Kingston is such a fiscal conservative that he awarded those who voted for the Medicare prescription drug benefit, the biggest entitlement expansion since LBJ's Great Society, with cynically named "Ronald Reagan Awards."
Rob Bluey says that Kingston wears three hats: House GOP leadership, appropriator, and Republican Study Committee member. Given his record, I don't trust hat number three. He argues in his defense that he supports the line item veto. At this point in the game, after bloating the size of the federal government for years, the line item veto is nothing more than thin political cover, as our own Wlady wrote Tuesday.
If he would like to show conservatives that he is serious about fiscal discipline, he should do more than support tokens like the line item veto. He can repudiate the prescription drug benefit. He can start fighting for fiscal discipline on the appropriations committee. Kingston calls stripping out pork is the "Amendments Game." If cutting government waste is a game to Mr. Kingston, he shouldn't expect to be taken seriously as a conservative.
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