The Road to the Bridge to Nowhere

Josh Marshall has a pretty solid timeline of the actual chain of events that run in complete contradiction to the narrative being sold by the lying liars that are McCain and Palin regarding the Bridge to Nowhere.

But what really interests me is the road to the bridge to nowhere.  I know a little bit about how people approach government spending; when you are given money by the government, you spend it, regardless of if you need it or not.  You do this because if you don’t, the government will stop giving you money.

And that is looking to be what happened when it comes to the road that would have led to the bridge to nowhere.  You see, Palin lobbied for the bridge, managed to get a portion of the money, and then, when the whole thing fell apart, she kept the money she got for the bridge, and started using it elsewhere; a far cry from the wasteful spending habits McCain and Palin are attempting to put on display here.

As a reader writes in to Marshall, the money for the road that led to the bridge could not be used elsewhere; if they didn’t build the road, they would have to give the funds back.  If Palin were truly mavericky, and believed in curbing wasteful government spending she would have returned the money dutifully.

Instead, the road was built… to an empty beach.

2 Responses to “The Road to the Bridge to Nowhere”

  1. Adam says:

    I suppose that I’m not surprised at how much traction it’s gotten in the media since he’s been pushing it so hard and so repetitively, but it’s about time somebody called John McCain on his weird obsession with earmarks. Putting aside the fact that earmark spending has little if anything to do with the current financial crisis we’re facing and that pork is dwarfed by current military budgets, there is not really anything inherently wrong with earmarks as long as they’re used ethically. The way the government currently works, they’re essential to securing necessary funding. And here’s the ironic part – it’s ESPECIALLY necessary for the small towns to which the Republicans have recently decided to devote their message. Alaska would seem to be the perfect example, as even such an oil rich state has a very small population and therefore a very small tax base, and needs the federal funding from earmarks for basic public works.

    It seems to me that the solution to the very real problems with earmarks is not necessarily to do away with them, but rather to reform the current system by emphasizing transparency and openness. But this seems to me to be something that McCain could do just as easily from the Senate floor as from the White House – that is, he could if he was able to get his own party behind his own legislation. Reform would be welcome, and needs to come, but McCain’s blustery rhetoric has painted his campaign into a corner. Just because politicians like Sarah Palin abuse the earmarks system, does not mean that it should be done away with entirely.

  2. That’s a very good point, Adam on pork being essential to small towns.

    If you want, you can write a more fleshed out version of that, and I’ll let you do a guest post on it.

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