There’s a lot of talk right now about earmarks. The Tea Party/GOP candidates, who campaigned heavily on getting rid of things like earmarks, have now reversed their positions since winning their elections. Examples of this can be seen in John Boehner and Rand Paul. But what about the non-Congressional supporters of the Tea Party/GOP? Well their hypocrisy is also the same:
Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts dislikes government spending so much that he spent over a half a million dollars of his own money to fight against it. According to the Huffington Post (HuffPo) Ricketts was the “sole financier of the Ending Spending Fund” which invested nearly $600,000 into the Nevada US Senate race against Majority Leader Harry Reid.
HuffPo also points out that the fund is the political arm of a new nonprofit called Taxpayers Against Earmarks, which is “dedicated to educating and engaging American taxpayers about wasteful government spending and the misguided practice of earmarks.”
Does Joe Ricketts think its a crime that the family business will collect $84 million from one government body, while asking for $300 million from another?
When he talks about borrowing money today and forcing that debt on the unborn he is literally talking about the very scheme that the Cubs are pushing. That plan calls for the bonds to be paid off over 35 years through amusement taxes. Many of the individuals paying those amusement taxes haven’t been conceived yet, hell some of their parents are still in elementary school.
So government spending and taxes is bad, unless it helps out the financial fortunes of those who are preaching against them. And the problem doesn’t stop with Ricketts. Keeping with the sports meme, let’s have a look here in Cincinnati. Hamilton County is in a major budget crisis and a big part of that crisis is paying for the two new stadiums that were built in the last decade. These stadiums are also funded by an increase in the local sales tax. But who is the principal owner of the Cincinnati Reds? That would be none other than Carl Lindner, Jr. For that that don’t know Carl, here’s a look at some of his political work:
Common Cause reported in 2004 that Lindner raised at least $200,000 for President George W. Bush for Bush-Cheney ’04 Inc. and contributed $200,000 for the Bush-Cheney inauguration ($100,000 from Lindner and $100,000 from American Financial Group), “double the $100,000 contribution limit (the inaugural committee refunded the excess money, only to have Lindner funnel the money through AFG). During the 2002 Senate elections, Lindner and his family contributed $450,000 to Republicans. In the 2004 presidential campaign, Lindner was one of the first 23 ‘Rangers’ who raised at least $200,000 in bundled contributions for Bush. He hosted a September 2003 fundraiser at his home in the Cincinnati suburb of Indian Hill, which raised an estimated $1.7 million for Bush.”
Lindner also personally gave the maximum amount to Tea Party candidates Sharon Angle and Pat Toomey this year.
This is why Republican/Tea Party voters have been had. They have fallen for the old “slight of hand” game. While they are listening to the messages people like Ricketts is sending out and eating it up, these voices are out there engaging in the very same practice they rally against. It’s like the chronic pot smoker engaging in a big anti-drug crusade. Its hypocrisy plain and simple.
And this is where the Democratic message machine is also failing. Candidates need to not only sell themselves, but also help educate voters. This should have been a bigger issue going into the 2010 midterms. Hopefully Democrats will use examples like this and pound on the right in 2012 for their obvious double standards and lies when it comes to government spending. If we push a strong enough message then the media will help relay it. Face it, people love hard hitting subjects and exposing hypocrites like this can be a big thing.