Inside the Beltway: Forever Santelli

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READ IT AND OINK

Talk about red meat: Citizens Against Government Waste (cagw.org) has released the “2012 Congressional Pig Book”, the nonprofit group’s annual expose of pork-barrel spending. Seven Republican lawmakers assisted in the public event, including Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania - plus a pair of pot-bellied pigs named Bubbles and Churchill.

The “little pink book” finds that the number of earmarks dropped from 9,129 in fiscal year 2010 to 152 in 2012, and that the total cost decreased from $16.5 billion to $3.3 billion in that period. But alas, the ballyhooed moratorium on earmarks has been breached by Congress on at least three occasions.

“Because a moratorium is not a permanent ban on earmarks, a bipartisan group of senators is proposing such a ban,” says the organization’s president, Tom Schatz. “Since that effort has been rejected so far, it is reasonable to conclude that a majority of senators would like to restore earmarks.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 79 percent of Americans say addressing the nation’s job situation is important; 42 percent say it’s unlikely that President Obama and Congress will ever agree on legislation to remedy it.

• 73 percent of Americans say reducing the federal budget deficit is important; 60 percent say Mr. Obama and Congress will likely not agree on legislation.

• 64 percent say it’s important to address the nation’s energy needs; 48 percent say it’s unlikely the two sides will agree on legislation.

• 49 percent say it’s important to address problems in the new health care law; 61 percent say it’s unlikely the two sides will agree on legislation.

• 46 percent say it’s important to address immigration; 58 percent say it’s unlikely the two sides will agree on legislation.

Source: A United Technologies/National Journal poll of 1,002 U.S. adults conducted April 12 to 15.

Squeals of protest, rants, asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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