Q: How the Wall Street Bail Out grew to $850 Billion?
The housing bust has been blamed for the alleged credit crunch. But here is the list of none related issues attached to the Wall Street and Washington Bail Out that has increased this bill from $700 Billion to $850 Billion.
The increase is being blamed on Earmarks. But what is an Earmark? Well according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Earmarks is defined as, "funds provided by the Congress for projects or programs where the congressional direction (in bill or report language) circumvents Executive Branch merit-based or competitive allocation processes, or specifies the location or recipient, or otherwise curtails the ability of the Executive Branch to manage critical aspects of the funds allocation process."
Earmarks are also called Pork Barrel Spending, which means "government spending for projects that are intended primarily to benefit particular constituents or campaign contributors."
So here is a comprehensive list the Earmarks or Pork Barrel Spending included by Senators and House Representatives in order to grease the wheels of the Wall Street and Washington Bail Out.
High Lighted Earmarks Needing Additonal Justification:
- Wooden arrows Earmark: This tax break, backed by Oregon's two senators, would benefit an Oregon manufacturer of wooden arrows for children by $2 million over 10 years, allegedly not supported by Republican Senator Gordon and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden (Section 503)
- Racetracks Earmark: Earmark would allow auto racetrack owners to depreciate their facilities over seven years, saving the industry $100 million over two years. Charles Schumer, the New York [Democrat] Senator added an earmark to the nation's $700 billion "rescue plan" that will extend current tax laws for race tracks that allow them to be considered the same as amusement parks in the eyes of the IRS. (Section 317)
- Rum Earmark: Offers rum producers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands a rebate on excise taxes worth $192 million over two years. (Section 308)
- Wool Earmark: Reduces tariffs for U.S. makers of wool fabric that use imported yarn, worth $148 million over five years. The measure was pushed by Democrat Representative Louise Slaughter, N.Y., and Democrat Representative Melissa Bean, Ill. (Section 325)
- Exxon Valdez Earmark: Plaintiffs in the suit over the 1989 oil spill could spread their tax payments on punitive damages over three years, cutting their tax bill by $49 million. The measure was backed by Republican Rep. Don Young, Alaska. (Section 504)
- Hollywood Earmark: Extends a tax break for film and TV companies that keep their production in the United States, worth $478 million over 10 years. The provision was originally pushed by Democrat Rep. Diane Watson, Los Angeles. (Section 502)
If you want to see a more comprehensive list of Earmarks go to The Tax Foundation