Earmarks and other Bribes

Last month, the news was filled with congressional news about the spending bill. The number of "earmarks" was reported at over 6,400. Many representatives tried to minimize this fact stating that it represented such a small percent of the total package. It seems the corruption is so rampant in our government that almost none understood the real nature of earmarks and what they truly represent. For any of you that are not certain what they are really all about, let me quote an email I received from someone who got involved with the process, from the field, not in government.

Congressional Earmarks

Congressional 'earmarks' have been in the news lately. However, the reporters don't seem to be able to expose the workings behind the earmarks and how this affects the movement of money from our government.

A few years ago, I was involved in the production of a product which was targeted at city and county governments. In the process, a veteran of this market explained to me how city and county governments received funding for their infrastructure. This is an account of what I learned.

Normally, when a bureaucracy is funded by congress, the bureaucracy must comply with standard rules which govern the operation and administration of funds by every bureaucracy. For example, when purchasing equipment or services, the bureaucracy must use competitive biding which is open to the providers of the equipment and services. Employment and safety practices of such providers are impacted due to their business relationship with the government. This is where 'earmarks' come in.

An 'earmark' is the designation by congress of a certain amount of money for a particular purpose or project. The amount of detail specified by the 'earmark' can vary. Since congress has specified that the money is to be spent on the specified purpose or project, cialis generic reviews the typical administrative rules which govern the operation of a bureaucracy are circumvented.

For example, lets say that the Acme Pipeline company knows that Bowser county needs to build a new water pipeline, but does not have the funds to construct the pipeline. What to do? The Acme Pipeline company approaches their lobbyist, who happens to live in the same neighbourhood as Senator Smith. The Acme Pipeline company is in Senator Smith's district.

The lobbyist meets with Senator Smith and explains the need of Bowser county and requests that $10.5 million be 'earmarked' for the project. Of course such communication is unofficial and verbal, so the Senator knows all about the Acme Pipeline company. Bowser county also knows who to 'thank' for the funding and who will receive the contract to build the pipeline. In the course of the business of the Senate, Senator Smith adds an earmark to one of the many bills that are under consideration. This earmark specifies that $10.5 million be appropriated to fund the Bowser county pipeline.

Once Bowser county receives the money from congress, the construction contract is awarded to the Acme Pipeline company. Competitive bidding and all those regulations do not apply to this project, since congress is funding it directly.

When election time rolls around, the Acme Pipeline company is ready for a visit from Senator Smith. The company is grateful for the business made possible by the earmarks. They show their appreciation with a hefty donation to the senator's campaign. That is how the earmarks work, as explained to me by a man who made his living in this arena.

A quote from Rush Linbaugh interviewing a guest and posted on his website, dated November 8th, 2010, put it like this:

The problem with earmarks is that they are used — and members of the Senate and House love this.  They're used as bribes.  "Okay, Ben! You don't like health care? Well, how about if we send a little earmark for Nebraska your way? We're gonna exempt you from it for ten years.

And that is exactly how the Health Care reform got passed, in opposition to the will of the people. Don't believe it? Later in the same interview was this statement:

Without earmarks you wouldn't-a had enough votes for health care in the Senate, I don't care what Pelosi did in the House.

What is the source of such corruption? It is inevitable when our representatives loose their moral and constitutional foundation. This was stated by a French political thinker in the 19th century.

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” – Quote often attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville. (French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America, appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840, and The Old Regime and the Revolution 1856.)

We have long since seen that day dawn and it is almost setting on us, ending our Republic. Politicians say this is just doing business as usual. Are they so far gone that they cannot any more distinguish good from evil? The prophets of old had a few things to say about leaders who no longer can distinguish good from evil.

Isaiah 5:20

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter

And again Jeremiah 4:22

For my people are foolish;
they know me not;
they are stupid children;
they have no understanding.
They are ‘wise’—in doing evil!
But how to do good they know not.

Jeremiah makes it clear. The problem is godlessness. They might attend religious meetings but godliness doesn't sway their minds. My father used to say of a boss he once had, "He attends church with me on Sunday but  Monday through Friday, he's a cheating crook…"

The original law of Moses contains this warning:

Exodus 23:8 and you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

Moses' instructions about choosing judges contains the same warning:

Deuteronomy 16:19 You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous.

There are twenty five uses of the word "bride" in the Jewish scriptures, the Old Testament. They all say the same thing. Taking bribes is a corruption against the righteous and perverts right thinking and judgement. Politicians justify their corruption based on the number of dollars involved. They have almost no concept of their own degradation … and neither do the public who vote for them.

Wake Up America!!

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