What We Need is a Line Item Veto

Posted by politicalpartypooper on March 14, 2010

Today’s topic is a Line-Item-Veto.  Every President since Ron Reagan was asked for such power, and thirty years after Reagan first asked, we still don’t have it.  Why?

An interesting question.  Let’s explore that.

Why, indeed, do we still not allow our President to veto individual items of a bill?  I think we all know what items would be vetoed; it’s doesn’t take a constitutional scholar to know that the first thing any sitting President is going to attack is the pork attached to almost every bill.  Like$4.5 Million for wood utilization research. This research has cost taxpayers $95.3 million since 1985.  Ummm, don’t we pretty much already know what we can and cannot use wood for?  Then there is the defense department’s $3.6 Million for “intelligent decision exploration”, a head shaker if ever I’ve seen one.

There’s the annual $9.5 Million for Corridor “H”, West Virgina’s Senator Robert Byrd’s personal highway, which just sort of ends in the middle of nowhere.  Can I?  Can I?  Can I call it the Highway to Nowhere? How about $9.5 Million for Bikepaths and trails?  I have one of these right across the street from my home; it’s a maintenance nightmare, and the people charged with its upkeep are the first to admit that.  Why not just make a Bike Lane on our already paved streets, which have maintenance crews already provided by municipalities and counties? Anyone?

The biggest question by far is, why are these projects Federally funded?  The idea that a Senator from Wisconsin can request Federal dollars for a pet project, which in the end benefits only people from Wisconsin seems unconstitutional to me, especially since none of these projects is a matter of national defense, safety, health, or education.

Why don’t we have a Line-Item-Veto?  Because despite what your representatives say every election cycle, they love Pork.  They love it, love it, love it.  It’s their favorite way to payback campaign contributors, and to “earn” votes for the next election.  Pork is basically state election bribery, and it makes challenging and winning against an incumbent more difficult.  Yet pork remains one of our nation’s sorest subjects amongst citizens, with wide agreement amongst the Right and the Left. Why do our elected officials continue to ignore us on this?

If we gave our Presidents Line-Item-Veto authority, much of this pork would disappear, and for a President unwilling to get tough with Pork-barrelers, his approval of line item pork projects would make him an owner of them, along with its sponsor.  Nothing like owning wasted taxpayer dollars, right?  Let’s get to it.  Let’s make these guys ask for their pork honestly, instead of allowing them to sneak it on the ass-end of a bill.     Ω


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