I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard John McCain or Sarah Palin talk about how they are going to fix Washington if elected. One of McCain’s favorite bugaboos is earmarks, those pesky add-ons to bills that are in addition to the bill’s original purpose. Somehow McCain wants Americans to think that if he eliminates all earmarks our financial problems will magically be solved.
We know that isn’t the case – all the earmarks combined are a very small percentage of the overall budget. Nonetheless it’s a good soundbite for the campaign trail because we all are disgusted by the millions we think are wasted on what appears to be frivolous projects.
When I read through the 451-page bill the Senate passed earlier in the week I discovered many earmarks for things like the woolen industry, children’s wooden arrows, Nascar race tracks, the Puerto Rican rum industry, etc. Millions and millions of dollars for this stuff.
My question, then, is why did McCain vote yes on this bill? His vote wasn’t needed to pass the bill and it would have given him something substantial with which to hammer Obama. Instead he’s on the talk shows badmouthing the bill he just voted for, encouraging Bush to veto it. Does this make any sense to anyone else?
I understand McCain is a study in contradictions, but still, this makes absolutely no sense at all.