BlogWatch: Porkbusting, Earmarks Unlimited & Biden's Fiscal Record

The BlogWatch is published by Billy Hallowell each week on the Facing Up to the Nation's Finances web site.  With budgetary issues on the burner this election season, be sure to check for information on how you can better understand public policy opinions as well as public opinion on America's fiscal issues.  After all, our generation is going to bear the burden; you mid as well take the time to understand it now!

With the Democratic National Convention in full swing, it's important to note that the majority of the political blogosphere is focusing more on the Democrats than it is on the Republicans. While the Democrats are surely getting more coverage, not all of it is positive; there is still a fair amount of criticism this week -- specifically when it comes to democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden's fiscal record.

To start this week's BlogWatch off, the Economist Mom blog covers Sunday's New York Times Magazine article about Barack Obama's "economic philosophy" and "political strategy" in detail. According to the Economist Mom blog,

"Sunday’s New York Times Magazine contained an excellent article by David Leonhardt on Obama’s economic philosophy and policy strategy.  It’s a very long article (14 pages when you print it out), and that’s because it really does take that long to try to explain Obama’s thoughts on economic policy.  Obama’s approach is not stark, rhetorical, and uncomplicated; it’s nuanced, compromising, and thoughtful."

In other news, is looking for "Porkbusters" to expose (via video) earmarks in various localities across the nation. Aside from being informative and worthwhile, this is a project that will lead to more government accountability, while placing pressure on Congress to take a more in-depth look at pork barrel spending. Stay tuned for more on this.

Moving on to the Club for Growth (CFG) blog, Andrew Roth covers Lew Rockwell's support for earmarks. With pork barrel spending continuing as a major issue of concern for many members both inside and outside of congress, Roth's coverage of the following statement is more than intriguing. According to Rockwell (and Roth couldn't disagree more),

"Earmarks do not increase spending; they are congressional allotments of proposed spending. If money is not directed by Congressman X to the public library in Topeka, it goes to the presidency, where the federal agencies spend it. Earmarks are, in effect, a legislative blow at executive supremacy. A very minor one, it is true, but you can tell by the neocon yelps, not to mention the opposition of the Club for Growth, that earmarks are comparatively a good thing."

According to The Hill's Congress Blog, the CFG has taken a look at Sen. Joe Biden's stance on the economy and the results -- according to the Club for Growth's analysis and opinion -- are dismal:

"On every economic issue, Senator Biden has voted for more taxes, more spending, and bigger government."

Additionally, the CFG insinuates the following:

"[Biden] is an avid supporter of pork barrel spending, supporting the Bridge to Nowhere in 2005 and winning the ignominious Porker of the Month award from Citizens Against Government Waste in January 2002. Biden has been reliably anti-trade and pro-government regulation."

CFG is not alone in their criticisms. The National Taxpayers Union takes similar aim at Biden. The organization acknowledges Biden's foreign policy assistance as a factor in his selection for the vice-presidential position, but provides a dismal look at his fiscal record:

"Sen. Joe Biden’s (D-DE) foreign policy experience may have led to his selection as Barack Obama’s running mate, but his fiscal record is less than stellar."

Over al Capital Gains and Games, Stan Collender drives home an important point about the next president's impact and potential to positively influence America's current fiscal situation:

"…unless there is a foreign policy problem or natural disaster that requires immediate attention, the federal budget will present the next president with his first big governing challenge."

And last but not least, Jon Perr at Crooks and Liars covers an alleged misperception that was aired on network news about Obama and McCain's tax plans. Apparently, CNN used a "deceptive chart" focused on Obama and McCain's tax policies, with a misleading bias against Obama's policies. According to Jon Perr,

"As Think Progress reported, CNN on Tuesday showed a deceptive chart which wrongly suggests that John McCain’s tax plan provides more Americans with greater savings than that offered by Barack Obama. But CNN’s upper-crust income brackets, which start at $161,000 and represent only 5% of taxpayers, conceal the…truth that Barack Obama’s proposals offer working and middle class Americans steeper tax benefits at every income level up to $110,000."