Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oy Vey!

Last night, a friend of mine informed me that two republican politicians in South Carolina had issued "deeply anti-semitic and hateful statements." I immediately investigated this incident and learned that in the course of their article praising Jim DeMint's (R - SC) fiscal conservatism and fight against earmarks they mentioned the stereotypical Jewish proclivity towards generating wealth through watching and saving their money. As a Jew, I can say that given the context I do not consider their statement hateful or anti-semitic, in fact I believe their is some truth to it. Read the article and decide for yourself. And for those who are offended, I would encourage you to direct your concern towards radically islamic individuals, organizations and regimes that incite hatred and harm against Jews.

DeMint watches out for all of us Sunday
October 18, 2009

Recently your newspaper published a letter from state Rep. Bakari Sellers attacking U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint and his opposition to congressional earmarks.

There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves. By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.

Sellers is apparently quite unaware that the vast majority of earmarks go to congressmen and senators who lead the Appropriations Committee -- the so-called appropriators. They write the annual funding bills and reserve most of the earmark funding for the projects they support. Sometimes these are projects in their home states, and sometimes the projects are supported by their campaign donors. Congressmen and senators who aren’t on the Appropriations Committees are left to fight for the table scraps.

The following quote is taken from remarks made by President Barack Obama on March 11: “... the fact is that on occasion, earmarks have been used as a vehicle for waste, and fraud and abuse. Projects have been inserted at the 11th hour, without review, and sometimes without merit, in order to satisfy the political or personal agendas of a given legislator, rather than the public interest. There are times where earmarks may be good on their own but in the context of a tight budget might not be our highest priority. So these practices hit their peak in the middle of this decade, when the number of earmarks had ballooned to more than 16,000, and played a part in a series of corruption cases.”


Yes, Rep. Sellers, earmarks, in the eyes of some, may produce funding for a designated area or project. Yet even Obama recognizes that while this source of revenue may be beneficial, when done right, it is a methodology greatly in need of reform.

Meanwhile, DeMint continues to look out for his constituency in other ways. For example, on Feb. 5, DeMint announced the introduction of a bill to protect small businesses, charities and families by reforming the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. This new law will demand onerous testing for anything geared toward children age 12 and under. The mandate falls on books, toys, clothing, hair bands, board games, sporting equipment, backpacks and even special learning equipment made for children with disabilities. Alas his bill did not pass.
Perhaps Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Inez Tenenbaum could help families mitigate this problem as times are tough and likely to get tougher; and they may need to buy items at flea markets, thrift stores, consignment shops and yard sales in order to save money. Perhaps families on a tight budget know a thing or two about making do on less. There is a saying from the 1930s that will surely come into use again: “Use it up, wear it out; make it do, or do without.”
Now one might ask, just who is watching out for whom?

− Edwin O. Merwin Jr., Chairman, Bamberg County Republican Party, Denmark−James S. Ulmer Jr., Chairman, Orangeburg County Republican Party, North

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