Thursday, October 02, 2008

Where Are Johnny Boy's Principles?

I don't understand. I thought McCain hated earmarks. Yglesias points out that a mere 9 days ago, McCain stated that a bailout loaded with pork was unacceptable. And now we see him voting for it. Is that what he flew to Washington to deal with? Make sure there were some good earmarks in there? If he really cared about earmarks, wouldn't he have voted against it?

In all seriousness, I'm sure he figured that having the bill meant more than the earmarks. But it does make him vulnerable on his pet issue.

Of course, I have no problem with earmarks. I don't necessarily like the process by which they are created and allocated. But I still believe in government spending to spur the economy and many of the earmarks serve science. McCain can laugh at the Montana project to study grizzly bear DNA, but that sounds like potentially valuable science from my perspective.

The new bailout plan is at best marginally better than the last one, but what makes it better are the provisions that have nothing to do with it. The clause forcing insurance companies to make mental health equal to physical health in their coverage. The increase on FDIC insurance up to $250,000. Money for rural schools. These are all good things, as are many of the other amendments. It would be nice for this money to be shared in different ways, but despite McCain's blustering, the system isn't changing anytime soon.