Star Headline Whets Appetite
The Kansas City Star has a preview of tonight’s State of the Union speech, which I will tune in to only by default, because nothing else is on if I watch at all. That bit of honestly aside, some parts of it have my tongue wagging, although I have no faith whatsoever that these things will pass Congress and I have to ask why the President didn’t attempt to do these things earlier in his administration:
Offering modest new plans, Bush proposed a $300 million "Pell Grants
for Kids" program to help poor children in struggling public schools
pay for the cost of attending a private school or a better public
school outside their district.
I love this idea, although as I think about it I don’t know how much I like it as a Federal program…
Bush also was to urge elimination of 150 federal programs that [White House counselor Ed] Gillespie called "wasteful or bloated."
Dare to dream for this to actually happen. Again, why wasn’t this proposed earlier in this administration?
The president will issue an executive order Tuesday ordering federal
agencies to ignore "earmarks" that aren’t explicitly enacted into law,
erasing a common practice in which lawmakers’ projects are outlined in
nonbinding documents that accompany legislation. The move is aimed at
making doubly sure that lawmakers have the opportunity to strike
earmarks during floor debates.
However, Bush’s plan leaves untouched the more than 11,700 earmarks totaling $16.9 billion that Congress approved last year.
If the earmarks from last year are not legally required to be spent, then why on earth is the money going to be spent? Who cares when they were passed? I guess it’s better late than never, but this is awfully damned late.
This is the type of thing one can get very excited about but this is just a speech, not a piece of legislation. When the latter succeeds in doing these things, then I will get REALLY excited.