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Fiscal Hawk Emanuel Cleaver Proposes “Mother Of All Earmarks” *$48M To Redistribute Wealth To “Under Served Communities”

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Posted on December 16 2010 12:00 pm
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What happened to Emanuel Cleaver’s Facebook “Savings Spotlights” posts  from last summer?

I so enjoyed those – because it almost looked like a liberal Dem was taking the deficit seriously, and was finally trying to rein in spending. A cynic might have suspected that one of the most left-wing members of Congress, a member of the progressive (DSA) caucus, and Fidel Castro fan, was simply offering bromides to a public sick to death of Washington’s wild spending, during an election year. But not me. Those Savings Spotlight posts had me totally convinced that Cleaver was turning over a new leaf.

Here’s a sample post, chosen at random:

•Emanuel Cleaver II SAVINGS SPOTLIGHT: Since 2009, I have voted time and time again for measures that reduce the deficit, crack down on wasteful government spending, and impose fiscal discipline. For example, I was proud to support the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act (now law), which reinstituted a requirement to offset new policies that increase mandatory spending or reduce revenues, giving it the force of law.

So you can imagine my shock (and awe) when I read this:

In the midst of a colossal global concern for the economic stability of our great nation, Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri’s 5th Congressional District representative, has one small earmark on his wish list that deserves some attention.

Cleaver has listed a new earmark — one of several — and he promises to “fight for every one.” But this is a whopping $48 billion package that must go down as the grandaddy of all earmarks.

Proposed by a gentleman named Lamar Mickens, president of the not-for-profit Quality Day Campus, the $48 billion earmark would funnel money into the inner cities to give money to the poor and thereby produce a much larger consumer class to buy the goods and services produced in this country.

Just call this redistribution on steroids.

Cleaver’s office says this of the proposal:

“The Epicenter is a proposed estimated $48 billion (Phase One) mass scale urban reclamation project for combating, reducing, reversing and/or eliminating poverty within under served communities by utilizing mass scale economic redevelopment to bring about stability and self reliance.

“Phase one“?

The Epicenter
$48,000,000,000

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5) requests $48,000,000,000 for:
Quality Day Campus, Inc.

As Ace says:

I’m thinking if 48 billion is the foot in the door, Phase Two has got to involve real money.

Awesome.

Pardon me… I think I’m going to be sick, now.

UPDATE:

Cleaver is saying that outrageous earmark was posted on his website in the interest of “transparency”, but that he had never proposed it, himself.

Via the Blaze:

Cleaver’s communications director, Danny Rotert, told The Blaze Thursday that the story is a case of the blogosphere run amok and the notion the congressman would ask such an appropriation is ridiculous. According to Rotert, the $48 billion request was posted on the congressman’s website in accordance with his commitment to transparency for his constituents.

Indeed, the Wall Street Journal also confirmed with press assistant Mary Petrovic that the earmark request was never given a second thought.  “We did not propose it, we do not promote it, and we did not submit it to the House Appropriations Committee,” Petrovic said.

Lamar Mickens, the head of the non-profit that made the request, said he wants the money to construct apartments, museums and social services centers in the eastern urban core of Kansas City, but said he did not know if Mr. Cleaver acted on the request. Mr. Cleaver’s office also declined to tell Taxpayers for Common Sense whether the congressman asked for the money.

I beg to differ that the notion that a Congressman would ask for such an appropriation is ridiculous. Nothing should be considered out of the question  for the 111th Congress.

UPDATE II:

Via Gateway Pundit, according to Cleaver’s website, the 48B earmark was indeed one of the appropriations he listed as being requested by his office, and although he acknowledges that not all of these “projects” will be funded, he vows to “fight for every one he submits”:

FY 2011 EARMARKS

Earmarks are funds requested by a Member of Congress to be placed in an appropriation bill. These bills fund the government’s many programs and operations and carry with them federal funds that can be used by local governments and organizations. In an effort to make this cryptic process more transparent, all earmarks requested of the Congressman are posted below.

FY 2011 earmarks requested from Congressman Cleaver’s Office>>

It is important to note that this list is not what has been chosen to be funded. Members of Congress who sit on the Appropriations Subcommittees will make the final judgment on what projects will be funded. Very few of these projects will ultimately be funded, but the Congressman will fight for every one he submits.

Correction: That’s $48 million, not billion. We were looking at the number wrong. Still an exorbitant amount for a daycare center.

Cross-posted at Nice Deb

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