Monday, January 28, 2008

Bush's Lateness
Mike Rappaport

The Wall Street Journal reports that George Bush will announce some actions against earmarks in his state of the union:

he will tell Congress that he will veto any fiscal 2009 spending bill that doesn't cut earmarks in half from 2008 levels. He will also report that he is issuing a Presidential order informing executive departments that from now on they should refuse to fund earmarks that aren't explicitly mentioned in statutory language.

That's fine.  The problem is that he is too late.  This one is much like the surge.  While Bush is trying to claim credit for the surge -- and he deserves some -- the problem is that he waited so long to do it.  Even if it continues to work, he will only win half a victory on that one. 

Here Bush's actions are even later.  As the Wall Street Journal argues, Bush could have applied some of these actions to existing  earmarks but he has chosen not to. 

Yes, hindsight is 20 - 20.  But this is not hindsight.  I -- and many others -- were making these arguments about the surge and earmarks a long time ago.

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Mike Rappaport