Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Earmark Porker

A multiple recipient of the dubious distinction “Porker of the Month” from Citizens Against Government Waste tells you right away that this career politician helped grow the $18 trillion deficit created by profligate government spending. His most recent dishonor from CAGW was earned by his second attempt to restore earmarks (his first was March, 2012).  House Republicans rebuffed Rep. Roger’s effort to earmark projects for “state, locality, public utility or other public entities.” Earmarking led to congressional corruption, including the incarceration of members, staff, and lobbyists who used the process to buy votes. “A return to earmarking would again entice members to vote-trade, hold back-room deals, and increase wasteful spending,” declared CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Voters awarded Republicans control of the Senate and a larger majority in the House in order to [restore regular order to the budget process and cut the bloat that continues to plague government]: A return to the bad old days of earmarks would be a repudiation of that mid-term election message.” For attempting to reinstate earmarks instead of focusing on fiscal restraint, CAGW names Rep. Rogers the November 2014 Porker of the Month. Read more about the Porker of the Month.

     Alabama Representative Mike D. Rogers (R-3rd) was a successful lawyer and is now a professional politician who will begin his 7th term in 2015.  Getting reelected is Job #1 for career pols and earmarks help in buying votes with taxpayer money. And voting for deficit spending in favor of grateful special interests –campaign contributors—also raises cash and dissuades qualified opponents from running against such advantages.  The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union gives Rogers a “C” meaning he is the middle range and definitely not a “Taxpayers’ Friend.”

     Rogers is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge vowing to commit, in writing, to oppose all tax increases.  The implied commitment is to not create spending that must be paid by increased taxes. Virtually all of our poster children ignore that part.  In fact, the governor of his state, also a signer of the Pledge proposed eliminating tax deductions for Alabama families as a means for solving his overspending problem.  Get this: Republican Gov. Bentley says that eliminating deductions is not the same as raising taxes.  Hello?  The families’ taxes go up as a result but he doesn’t call it a tax increase? 

     On social issues Rogers has voted in opposition to abortion and gay marriage; supported an amendment to declare that people retain the right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, and traditions on public property, including schools. He cosponsored legislation to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States. He sponsored a bill expressing the continued support of Congress for equal access of military recruiters to institutions of higher education.

     He has acted to protect the Armed Services industry in his area.  On the Armed Services Committee, he opposed military base closures and won passage of a bill that would assure that universities would provide access to their facilities for military recruitment purposes and ROTC.

     He dissented with the Morocco free trade agreement to protect the Alabama textile industry; and votes to continue price supports for Big Sugar –protections that raises costs to virtually all consumers. His votes in support of increased food stamps (SNAP) and against work requirements for able-bodied on welfare also raise costs to taxpayers.  For a clear explanation of Rep. Rogers' voting record see Heritage Action Scorecard and decide for yourself if we need term limits to rotate these big spenders out of office.  

     He actually sponsored legislation making it illegal to satirize or in any way parody the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Oh my! We don’t want to criticize the government, do we?  

     Mike D. Rogers is not the worst of the “worst of a bad lot” but he leaves a lot to be desired for his big deficit spending that puts his three children and all of our children in enormous debt. Trying to pay the interest alone will greatly reduce their opportunities in life. Term limits is the one costless reform that would enable successful professional and business people willing to come to congress as a civic duty, not a career. We need the benefit of successful experience in the private sector –something we have very little of now in congress.  Most are lawyers or others who have never worked in any productive aspect of the economy.  See on how you can help by at least signing the petition.



Geo said...

On November 14, by a vote of 145-67, Republicans in the House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected a proposal by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) to return earmarks to the congressional appropriations process, preserving the earmark moratorium that CAGW worked so hard to achieve and that has been in place since fiscal year 2011. Rep. Rogers’ failed effort also flew in the face of House Speaker John Boehner, who vowed just days after CAGW released its 2014 Congressional Pig Book on May 7 that the House would not return to the “nonsense” of earmarking under this leadership. Read more about Rep. Rogers’ unsuccessful attempt to restore earmarks.

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