Sen. Richard Shelby, who placed holds on over 70 of President Obama’s nominees, has lifted all but three of them. Politico reports:
A spokesman for the senator said Monday that with attention brought to these two concerns, the political maneuver had “accomplished” its goal and was no longer necessary.
Translation: “We were getting too much bad publicity.”
The three holds that Sen. Shelby is keeping in place have directly to do with the Alabama-based pork projects that he believes will make him look good to the Alabama voters he will be facing in November. So, in a way, nothing has changed.
This brings up a legitimate question: can earmarking abuse sometimes be an agent for smaller government?
Few, if any, of President Obama’s appointees will work to decrease the size and scope of government. Now that their path is cleared, they will probably do net harm to taxpayers. This is the nature of government workers, whether Republican or Democratic.
Sen. Shelby’s motive for blocking them is despicable: stealing from taxpayers to improve his re-election prospects. But one wonders if those same taxpayers would have been better off if Sen. Shelby had stuck to his guns.
Posted in Earmarks, Economics, Elections, Political Animals, Public Choice
Tagged alabama, alabama senate 2010, Earmarks, election 2010, holds, limited government, obama, obama nomination holds, obama nominee holds, pork, president obama, Public Choice, richard chelby, sen. richard shelby, sen. shelby, senator chelby, senator richard shelby, shelby
One reason Democrats were so upset about losing their 60th Senate seat was that it would make it easier for Republicans to obstruct legislation.
Fair enough. But the revived possibility of a filibuster may turn out to be the least of their worries.
Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, has placed a hold on more than 70 of President Obama’s nominees.
His motivations are not partisan. He wants money. A lot of it. If Democrats simply throw a few billion federal dollars at his home state, he promises to release his holds.
Basically, Sen. Shelby is requesting a wealth transfer from federal taxpayers – that’s you and me – to politically favored groups in Alabama. Presumably the earmarks would make him look good to Alabama voters. Sen. Shelby is up for re-election this November. Who doesn’t like free goodies? Vote for Shelby!
But they aren’t free. The money to pay for them has to come from somewhere – us. Let us mince no words, then. Sen. Shelby is a thief. What a shame that such stealing is perfectly legal.