Congressman Joseph Cao refuses to join the House GOP in forsaking earmarks for the next year.
He joins only two other GOP House members, including Ron Paul (who has a more interesting and slightly more principled justification).
Yes, New Orleans has many needs, as Cao notes. But part of being a representative at the national level also entails doing what's best for the country, not just the district. As the nation faces increasingly dire fiscal conditions (created in large part by unceasing government spending), it's rather shameful for Cao to continue to belly up for unnecessary appropriations for highly targeted local institutions. Besides the levee repair earmark, which is more worthwhile...the others noted in the article are, not surprising when it comes to Cao, Catholic institutions, like this project:
His only solo earmark for fiscal 2010 was $400,000 for Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corp. for facilities and equipment for a health center. Cao formerly served on their board but stepped down after his election. This year he is asking for $6.5 million for Mary Queen of Vietnam CDC to build Viet Village Urban Farm "as a model community project for economic and environmental stability."
That sounds rather ridiculous. New Orleans, it's time to "faite-le vous meme."