Senator Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) office just announced a bunch of earmarks for education, health care, job creation and flood recovery in the FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services Omnibus Appropriations bill.  Over $9 million for Eastern Iowa, $9 million for Central Iowa, and $2 Million in Western Iowa (I’m sure that Western Iowa getting less has nothing to do with it being predominately Republican).

Looking at some of the Central Iowa recipients:

  • “AIB COLLEGE OF BUSINESS, DES MOINES: $400,000 to continue recruiting and training closed captioners and court reporters and to provide scholarships to students.”  Do you think the federal government should be spending money for student recruitment?
  • IOWA VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT, MARSHALLTOWN: $165,000, for purchase of equipment.” – Wow, that’s specific.  What equipment?  Why should you receive additional taxpayer funds?
  • THE EISENHOWER FOUNDATION, DES MOINES: $400,000 to study inner-city youth in the Des Moines area and use the results to compile information for a National Model for youth development.”  Ok, are you kidding me?  A study, $400K?  At the very least if this is a worthwhile project they should be applying for a competitive grant.
  • DES MOINES PUBLIC SCHOOLS: $750,000 to fund the on-going expansion of early education programs to develop the skills needed for kindergarten readiness and long-term school success for low-income children in Des Moines.”  Here’s early education for you – parenting.  Why do public schools need to do this?  Isn’t this why Head Start was created?  It’s already causing a crunch in the state budget, and now they need a federal earmark.
  • “SIMPSON COLLEGE, INDIANOLA: $500,000 to support creation of a center to honor the contributions of Senator Culver.”  This should be funded by donations, not with taxpayer money.
  • THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE, DES MOINES: $750,000 for the design and fabrication of exhibits to be placed in the Hall of Laureates.”  Again another brilliant use of taxpayer money!
  • CREATIVE VISIONS, DES MOINES: $200,000 to provide counseling to struggling students, teach job search skills, time management, and other skills necessary for high school retention and future success.”  They couldn’t apply for a competitive grant?  It should be noted that Creative Visions’ CEO is State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad (D-Des Moines).  I’m sure that had nothing to do with their being the recipient of this earmark.
  • HARKIN GRANTS: $7 million for the repair, construction and modernization of Iowa schools.  Since the beginning of this program, Harkin has secured more than $127 million to repair and modernize Iowa schools.  Since 1998, 295 Iowa school districts have received Harkin Grants.”  You have to love that he’s spreading money around the state in his name.  This is taxpayer money… why does it have his name on it?  Is it any wonder why it is so hard to unseat incumbents when they do crap like this?

Oh you have to love the stewards of taxpayer money.  I mean they are looking out for their reelection you!

Cross-posted at the Des Moines Register From the Right Blog.

3 comments
  1. Here is the way that Ron Paul defended his $73 million-plus of earmarks to Neil Cavuto last March:

    But I think you’re missing the whole point. I have never voted for an earmark. I voted against all appropriation bills. So, this whole thing about earmarks is totally misunderstood.

    Earmarks is the responsibility of the Congress. We should earmark even more. We should earmark every penny. So, that’s the principle that we have to follow and the — and the responsibility of the Congress. The whole idea that you vote against an earmark, you don’t save a penny. That just goes to the administration and they get to allocate the funds.
    .-= Kansas Bob´s last blog ..Global Tobacco Epidemic =-.

  2. I remember watching that and thinking, “are you kidding me?”

    I see what he’s saying, and I think he and I would agree (which is why he votes against appropriations bills) is that we need to stop spending on items such as these. If these are worthy projects then they need to be funded locally.

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