Friday, March 27, 2009

Summer's Coming: Time for Flip-Flops!

Today's Free Press ran an opinion piece by Mike Rogers titled "Obama budget hurts Michigan."  In it, he trots out GOP budget talking points* (Cap & trade = bad! Taxes = bad!) and opines that the budget is "one more kick in the gut" for Michigan.

It was somewhat surprising to read this.  First off, President Obama didn't put $17.6 million worth of earmarks for the 8th CD in the bill -- Mike Rogers did.  Nor did the President join with other Michigan representatives and Senators to request funding for over $200 million in earmarks for our state.  Again, it's Mr. Rogers' name on those items.

What made Mr. Rogers change his tune?  Does he really think that Michigan State University will waste the biotech, agricultural and alternative fuels research funding he requested? Did he decide that improving public transit and water treatment plants isn't worthwhile?  Are Oakland Community College, Lansing Community College and other higher ed institutions not worth the effort now?  

Here in Livingston County, we'll receive
$1.4 million in earmarked funds.  The local paper lauded Mr. Rogers for "bringing home the bacon" and the Road Commissioner suggested that this was "just another reason to hug Mike Rogers when you see him."  The money will go to badly-needed area road and bridge projects, as well as a local university.  Does Mr. Rogers now think this is a bad idea?

After requesting all these earmarks, Rep. Rogers has the intestinal fortitude to turn around and describe the budget as "job-killing." If he really thinks that our state would be better off without over $200 million in funding for transportation, infrastructure, education, health care and law enforcement -- not to mention the jobs that will result from these projects -- why did he bother putting those earmarks into the budget in the first place? 

Since first going to Washington in 2001, it's clear that Mr. Rogers is quite fluent in Beltway double-talk. Seriously, who -- other than a Washington insider -- could pull off this impressive quadruple flip-flop:

     * personally inserting millions worth of earmarks into the budget (flip), 
     * voting against the budget (flop), 
     * taking credit for bringing home the bacon(flip), 
     * then criticizing the budget (flop).  

Yay, Mr. Rogers!  You really stuck that landing -- and the voters.

* Visit FiveThirtyEight for a very funny take on the GOP budget graphic

No comments: