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Posted by Andrew Moylan - January 28, 2008

The Wall Street Journal brings us the depressing news this morning that President Bush will indeed cave on earmarks, as I wondered aloud about last week.

Basically, the President will threaten to veto any FUTURE bills that don't cut earmarks in half and will issue an executive order directing agencies to ignore FUTURE non-legislative earmarks. So why is that so useless? Well, first, because lame-duck President Bush likely won't see any appropriations bills in his final year, and second, because it does NOTHING about the nearly 12,000 earmarks that passed for FY 2008.

To paraphrase one of the members of an email list I've been on, the President caved on earmarks and decided to do something that sounded like progress but is ultimately meaningless. The reason? Because he didn't want to antagonize Congress and make it more difficult to pass a stimulus bill that sounds like progress but is ultimately meaningless.

If fiscal conservatives weren't used to being spurned by this President, I think this would be a much bigger deal. Unfortunately, it's just another in a long list of not-so-conservative actions by this President.

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