The “no earmarks” deception

AP (yes, AP) calls out President Obama on his grossly misleading claim that the pork-fest legislation he is promoting contains no earmarks. Yesterday, in Indiana, Obama asserted:

I know that there are a lot of folks out there who’ve been saying, “Oh, this is pork, and this is money that’s going to be wasted,” and et cetera, et cetera. Understand, this bill does not have a single earmark in it, which is unprecedented for a bill of this size. … There aren’t individual pork projects that members of Congress are putting into this bill.

However, AP explains:

There are no “earmarks,” as they are usually defined, inserted by lawmakers in the bill. Still, some of the projects bear the prime characteristics of pork – tailored to benefit specific interests or to have thinly disguised links to local projects.

For example, the latest version contains $2 billion for a clean-coal power plant with specifications matching one in Mattoon, Ill.

That sounds like an earmark to me. If the money spent is spent for a clean-coal power plant somewhere other than in Mattoon, I’ll confess error.

AP continues:

Obama told his Elkhart audience that Indiana will benefit from work on “roads like U.S. 31 here in Indiana that Hoosiers count on.” He added: “And I know that a new overpass downtown would make a big difference for businesses and families right here in Elkhart.”

U.S. 31 is a north-south highway serving South Bend, 15 miles from Elkhart in the northern part of the state.

I’m not sure where Obama gets the audacity effectively to promise the people of Elkhart a new overpass while claiming that the stimulus passage is devoid of earmarks in any real sense. If Elkhart is stiffed in the stimulus package, I’ll confess error. And I trust Obama will too.

Via Mark Hemingway.

UPDATE: AP goes on to catalogue other deceptions presented by the truth-challenged Obama in just his one speech in Elkhart.

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