From Hatch's website Hatch proposed for FY 2011 $272K in help for Tremonton while Perry City gets $750K. That's $250 of redistribution of wealth from the hardworking taxpayers of America to every man, woman, child, and babe in Perry for a fiber optic system that only a handful of residents will use.
The earmark is contained as part of a $18M undistributed grant [taxpayer] money [I think of it as unspent money against a credit card limit as we have no money] found on page 55 of the $132B S. 3606 which has not been voted on in the Senate; the Democrats having voted to leave town October [Utah's Matheson to blame here] in hopes of campaigning to save their political lives leaving Congress to run under a "continuing resolution" fiasco. The specifics of the earmark are found on page 76 of Senate report 111-221 (pdf version), under the section "DISTANCE LEARNING, TELEMEDICINE, AND BROADBAND PROGRAM LOANS AND GRANTS" where the "Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies" [Wow. Maybe we could acronym it the A.S.A.R.D.F.D.A.R.A.!!!] lead by Sen Kohl (D-WI) recommended its expenditure alongside a bunch of other pork from other states, many having Senate representation on the subcommittee.
Unfortunately this $1M bailout is only one bite of the porkulous hog Hatch has proposed for FY 2011. The website WashingtonWatch.com lists 13 pages of earmarks numbering in the hundreds Hatch has proposed. The website is interactive and one can sound off by voting for or against individual earmarks and leaving comments.
Did Hatch not get the message as to what voters want? The $18M in its entirety should be cut from the bill. No pork-barrel earmarks. Slash spending and no bailouts. A fiscal conservative is supposed to do what I'm doing and identify pork and to try and stop it. I don't know what Hatch is fiscally, but away from the spotlight he's doing the opposite of what a fiscal conservative would do: adding to the pork when he should be cutting.
1 UTOPIA lists membership as 16 cities on their website. Wikipedia defines the additional 5 cities as "non-pledging."
+++++ Update 12/13 8pm
To my pleasant surprise, Holly on the Hill and Free UTOPIA! had wonderful write-ups on this story today. Holly pointed to the Hatch's press release statement:
"...I have always said I have an obligation as your Senator to make sure our state, our communities and our people get back the hard-earned tax dollars we contribute to the federal treasury." (emphasis mine)The problem with Hatch's press release is that it is the antithesis of fiscal conservatism and gives reason to why he is not acting like a fiscal conservative. From this statement I extract three egregious points:
(1) The "hard-earned tax dollars" are supposed to be paying for constitutionally-defined vital federal services such as national defense and the post office and flow one-way to the government to pay for these services. That one could "get back" the money means that constitutionally the government has no place in misappropriating private property in the first place.
(2) If Hatch indeed has authority to give back money to Utah, then he must accept that all other 534 members of Congress do as well. This results in protracted bickering among equals as to who gets what share of the pie and is resolved only by everyone getting everything which does further damage to the deficit.
(3) Hatch's statement thus defines him as a believer in "redistribution of wealth," a tenant of socialism. Hatch believes it is his job, indeed his "obligation" to take money the government has coerced from the people and decide who the winners and losers are in the state of Utah to receive back the distribution.
Contrast Hatch's press release with what a fiscal conservative such as myself would say regarding earmarks:
I have always said I have an obligation as your Senator to make sure our state, our communities and our people do not pay a single excessive dime of the hard-earned tax dollars we contribute beyond what is vitally necessary and Constitutionally permitted to the federal treasury.