- The Washington Times - Friday, November 7, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The word unpatriotic has been bantered about during this election cycle to describe the behavior of various candidates. The press has made much of trite actions, like whether a candidate wears an American flag pin or not, while larger, more substantive issues of patriotism have not been addressed.

Our country is facing one of the worst financial crises in its history. Am I the only American who feels that during this time of financial crisis it was unpatriotic for even one earmark to be put in the recent $700 billion bailout bill?

Many of the same senators who contributed to, if not created, the current financial crisis by pressuring Wall Street to make loans to unqualified home buyers, and who later had to bail out our economy from the brink of disaster as a result of their bad judgment and greed, continued to abuse the public trust and our taxpayer money by using the financial crisis as yet another opportunity to buy political favors and funnel public money to their cronies through earmarks while the rest of the country suffered. Unbelievable!

In the recent $700 billion bill that was supposed to be bailing out the American economy, $192 million went to rebates for the rum industry in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. There were millions of dollars of other earmarks, including a $478 million tax incentive to every Hollywood film and production company that makes films in the United States.

Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, Ohio Republican, stated: “One thing we didn’t appreciate in the Senate’s action was that they decided that this bill should become Christmas in October… earmarks should not have been in this piece of legislation.”

Every senator who put an earmark in that bill should be named publicly and listed by the press - and that includes presidential candidates. In my book, they are not only unpatriotic, but the epitome of what the average citizen finds so abhorrent about the Washington political culture and pork barrel politics.

TERESSA WALLACE

North Potomac

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