From The Flash Report
By Carly Fiorina
Amid the roiling debate about the massive tax increases and growing role of government in the health care bill, the outrage we all experienced in December with the passage of the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase in the Senate has taken a backseat in the public discussion as of late. However, while Democrats may have walked back on some of the highest-profile earmarks and payoffs, the health care bill is still rife with sweetheart deals designed to sway votes in Congress and curry good favor with constituents at home.
This is the wrong way to do business. That’s why I support banning earmarks and why I won’t vote for any earmarks if I am elected to the U.S. Senate.
If programs are worthy of being funded, then we should have no fear of debating their merits in the light of day using the appropriations process. Our government should be open and transparent with taxpayers about how their money is being spent. Instead, Washington hangs earmarks on bills like ornaments on a Christmas tree.
As it is, California doesn’t get its fair share of the taxpayer dollars we send to Washington. Earmarks make this losing game all the more lopsided. Yet Democrats like Barbara Boxer, whose ineffectiveness would be even more obvious otherwise, depend on the earmark system to paper over their lackluster records.
That is why I was not altogether shocked to learn that another of my opponents, Tom Campbell supported millions of dollars in earmarks while in Congress. Like Barbara Boxer, Tom Campbell is a career politician. His self-described main qualification to serve in the U.S. Senate is his time as member of the House. He knows and is comfortable working under Washington’s rules. And like most politicians in an election year he’s now working overtime to cover-up and explain away his record. It is exactly this kind of politics as usual mentality voters are so sick and tired of, and it’s no great secret why.
There are only two things we can do to address our nation’s deficit: grow the economy and cut spending. Growing the economy begins by allowing our economic engine to operate at full throttle. That means small businesses and entrepreneurs must be allowed to flourish and prosper. And when we talk about reining in our nation’s out-of-control federal spending, one of the first places we should look is at the billions of dollars in earmarks that riddle our federal budget.
True fiscal responsibility requires making tough decisions, which are bound to be less than popular. As any parent knows, taking away a teenager’s credit card when he maxes out one too many times does not help with the “cool” factor. But it’s the right thing to do. And it goes a long way in helping to chart a path toward greater fiscal discipline and responsibility in the future.
Washington could use a good dose of that same fiscal discipline, too.
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