I'm not sure what angered me more yesterday: Congress spending time on the Clemens hearings or the big coverage of the president signing the stimulus bill. The first wasn't a federal issue worthy of congressional time, the second wasn't news.
For some reason, CNBC carried the signing ceremony live even though markets had long ago factored it in to prices and the signing was a foregone conclusion. CNBC madse a bill many economists think insignificant into the current day equivalent of a piece of a major New Deal initiative.
I couldn't help myself this week. The debate over earmarks has gotten so silly that I felt the need to devote my Roll Call column to debunking as many of the myths as I could. If you have bought into any of this craziness...shame on you.
Earmark Debate Sounds Good, But It’s Mostly Nonsense
Answer: A $600 "tax rebate" check written by the Treasury and a $600 check written by the Department of Health and Human Services.
In once sense, isn't every dollar spent by the federal government a tax rebate?
Did anyone notice that the FY08 and 09 deficits will be a little higher than were projected JUST A WEEK AGO because of the fiscal stimulus bill that was finally enacted?
Probably not. Last week, between the Super Bowl, Super Tuesday, and the Bush administration's very successful attempt to bury the budget as an issue once and for all, the fact that the final bill was $25 billion or so more than the one passed by the House was barely mentioned anywhere.
It turns out that the White House insistence that President Bush would stop the earmarks provided in the fiscal 2008 appropriations enacted last year from being spent is a total lie.
Some quick background.