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Compromise by Addition:

President Bush vetoed the pork-laden $23.2 billion water project bill yesterday. The bill was the product of compromise between the House and Senate. According to the WSJ, the House passed a $14 billion bill, and the Senate passed a $15 billion bill. Each house sought to preserve its own earmarks, so at conference they compromised, producing a $23.2 billion bill.

Speaking of earmarks, Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Sunlight Foundation have launched EarmarkWatch.org to help monitor and expose wasteful pork barrel projects.

Fub:
...to help monitor and expose wasteful pork barrel projects.
Isn't that adjective redundundant? Or is it to distinguish from economical pork barrel projects?
11.3.2007 1:12pm
Anonymouseducator (mail) (www):
It's redundant but it might serve a purpose. Emphasis, or for people who don't know.

"Former Mouseketeer Timberlake produced and sang on the first single"

You don't need to distinguish former Mouseketeer Justin Timberlake from the non-famous one. The information serves some other purpose.
11.3.2007 1:32pm
Cornellian (mail):
It's hilarious that with the House at $14 billion and the Senate at $15 billion they "compromise" at $23.2 billion.

What was stopping Bush from vetoing stuff like this all the way back to 2001?
11.3.2007 2:42pm
taney71:
A Republican Congress.
11.3.2007 2:58pm
Steve:
This is obviously just a political stunt, as the bill passed 81-12 in the Senate and 381-40 in the House, and thus the veto will be overridden without a second thought. But there's always going to be someone out there who might believe that Bush suddenly rediscovered a deep-rooted commitment to fiscal responsibility after the 2006 elections, so veto away!
11.3.2007 3:30pm
taney71:
I don't care why Bush is vetoing bills now. It's just nice to see.

I knew in 2003 when Democrats were running for Congress that they would spend even more money than Republicans and be almost certain to raise taxes (however you want to define it). The lying that they did about being fiscal conservatives was a great political move but just that.

At least the 94 Republican takeover can claim that they were watching the people's money and trying to reform Congress. This Congress didn't even try to do that. The reform bills are a joke and want little we got was all because of Republicans (FINALLY...they didn't do crap while in power) pushing the Democratic leadership in the early part of the session. Spending hasn't gone down but up. No idea if Democrats will take on a tough issue like the Republicans did in the mid-90s with welfare reform. I would actually guess they will not even touch Social Security...despite the evidence that it needs reforming and soon.
11.3.2007 3:40pm
Gaius Marius:
Well it is about bloody time this RINO who conned his way into the Presidency as a self-described conservative starts vetoing pork laden bills after growing the national debt by a few trillion dollars. I guess better late than never.
11.3.2007 4:53pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
Calling Bush a RINO is laughable. He is the ultimate Republican. Sorry guys, but you own Bush. And the 24 percenters who the Republican candidates are trying to appeal to are making it even harder to pretend that he is somehow a "RINO."
11.3.2007 4:57pm
Anderson (mail):
I assume the post alludes to Churchill's famous quip about the dreadnoughts in the Navy bill:

The Admiralty had demanded six ships: the economists offered four: and we finally compromised on eight.
11.3.2007 5:01pm
Anderson (mail):
I missed CT's comment; Bush *is* a CINO, but he does seem to have dragged the Republican Party in his direction, pace Gaius Marius, if the presidential debates are any indication (as CT notes).
11.3.2007 5:05pm
HappyConservative:
Amazingly, Krugman has a defense of Bush from the irresponsible and deceitful libertarian attacks that he has been subject to. What is very interesting to me is why libertarians are so dishonest about Bush and do not give him any credit for keeping spending under control.


It's not the main point of this piece by Floyd Norris, but mentioned in passing:


Within the public sector, state and local governments are spending at the fastest pace in three decades, and federal military spending is also up. But federal spending on everything but the military is at its lowest level, as a percentage of the economy, in six years.


Now, he's actually referring only to discretionary spending; entitlements spending is up. But there have been many, many claims that discretionary spending is up, too; they all depend on deliberately conflating military spending with civilian spending. Basically, critics pretend that the cost of the Iraq war makes Bush a big-spending liberal.
11.3.2007 8:38pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
HappyConservative: amazingly, you're such a Republican suckup that you'd rather listen to Paul Krugman than reality? First, note that he says "in six years." But Bush has been in office for more than six years. In other words, he's comparing federal spending only to Bush, rather than to previous presidents -- that is, Bush isn't spending as much as he used to spend, not that he's spending less than past presidents.

Second, note that Krugman is using "percentage of the economy." But who cares about the percentage of the economy? Real libertarians and small-government conservatives want the government to shrink; we don't want it to grow, but slower than the economy.

Third, note that Krugman ignores so-called entitlements -- in other words, the majority of federal spending. But Bush has been a huge spender on entitlements, including creating a vast new entitlement program, the prescrlption drug program.

Fourth, although most conservatives are willing to give Bush a pass on defense spending, that counts, too. Bush has spent huge sums of dollars on Iraq.


In fact, in real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) dollars, Bush has vastly increased spending compared to his predecessor on every segment of the budget: defense, so-called entitlements, and discretionary spending.
11.4.2007 7:18am
Mike18xx:
Taxes schmaxes.

When are you going to notice the giant pink elephant in the room with "400% INFLATION IN JUST FIVE YEARS!" stenciled (in a nice box-crate font) on its side?

Oil? Up 400% in five years.
Gold? Up 400% in five years.
Cheese? Up 400% in five years.

Oil, gold and cheese aren't one fourth as available as they used to be; no, it just takes WAY MORE DOLLARS to buy them.

Haven't you noticed that, no matter how high the stock market goes, that if you were to cash out, you'd be able to buy LESS after converting to a stable foreign currency like, I dunno, the Philippine peso?
11.4.2007 10:36am
MarkField (mail):

Second, note that Krugman is using "percentage of the economy." But who cares about the percentage of the economy?


Actually, Floyd Norris is the one who used that measure. Krugman simply pointed out the consequence of that use.


Krugman ignores so-called entitlements -- in other words, the majority of federal spending.


Krugman didn't "ignore" them, he specifically mentioned them: "Now, [Norris's] actually referring only to discretionary spending; entitlements spending is up."
11.4.2007 10:52am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Krugman didn't "ignore" them, he specifically mentioned them: "Now, [Norris's] actually referring only to discretionary spending; entitlements spending is up.
He ignored them when he drew his conclusion: "Basically, critics pretend that the cost of the Iraq war makes Bush a big-spending liberal."

Actually, Floyd Norris is the one who used that measure. Krugman simply pointed out the consequence of that use.
You're being disingenuous here. Floyd Norris "used" it for an entirely different purpose. Krugman misappropriated it to use it in a way that had no bearing on the point under discussion. It's Krugman's "simple pointing out" that's the issue.
11.4.2007 1:18pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Doesn't anyone else here find it ironic the Prez. vetoes the water project bill as "pork-laden" just as abrupt climate change due to global warming Water Wars are heating up?

A little Gore-esque poke at the Dems?
11.4.2007 3:17pm
Gaius Marius:
Crazytrain, calling Bush the ultimate Republican is laughable given that he signed into law the largest unfundated state mandate in history (the NCBA), signed into law the greatest expansion in government entitlements since LBJ (Medicare prescription), has signed off on legislation that at least doubled if not tripled the national debt in only 7 years, etc. Erego, Bush is a RINO and in 2000 I voted for McCain in the Michigan Primary precisely because I suspected his so-called conservative credentials.
11.4.2007 5:24pm
MarkField (mail):
DMN, it would be easier just to admit you're wrong than to use so many words to obfuscate the fact that you were wrong.
11.4.2007 7:36pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Mark,

It would be easier to admit I was wrong if I were wrong. (I guess; I've never actually experienced that before.)
11.4.2007 10:22pm
MarkField (mail):

It would be easier to admit I was wrong if I were wrong. (I guess; I've never actually experienced that before.)


I understand. I thought I was wrong once, but it turned out I wasn't.
11.4.2007 10:38pm
J Croft (mail):
mike18xx said:

Oil? Up 400% in five years.
Gold? Up 400% in five years.
Cheese? Up 400% in five years.

Nov 2002 Oil - 26.50 Now 96.24 NOT 400%
Nov 2002 Gold - 325 Now 808 Not 400%
Nov 2002 Vermont Cheddar - 4.50 Now 6.25 Not 400%
11.4.2007 10:51pm
Jim Harper (mail) (www):
Translating "billions" into figures people can relate to: the cost of this bill is about $180 per U.S. family. That's no small expenditure, but there are quite a few that are quite a bit larger.
11.5.2007 9:36am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
GM, the unfunded mandate presumably was reviewed. See Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. you still have a problem with it, and of so, what...exactly?
11.6.2007 1:21am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
corr: "you still have a problem with it, and of so, what...exactly?" = You still have a problem with it, and if so, what...exactly?
11.6.2007 1:22am
Mike18xx:
Oh. 300% Inflation. My bad...

All's well then.
11.6.2007 3:34am
aizheng (mail):
11.7.2007 3:23am