Feeding the Mouth That Bites You

| Thu Feb. 18, 2010 2:26 PM EST

Is there anything wrong with voting against the stimulus bill but then working hard to steer stimulus dollars into your district? Jonathan Bernstein captures my view pretty well:

There's nothing hypocritical or wrong in any way with a Member of Congress saying that government should not spend money, but trying to get as much of it for his or her district after its been approved.

On the other hand, it is massively hypocritical for a Member of Congress to say that a bill would not create a single job while, at the same time, lobbying for projects from that bill to be placed in his or her district on the basis of all the jobs it will bring.

Agreed. Once the bill has been passed and the money is going to be spent whether you like it or not, there's nothing wrong with getting your fair share of the pie. But going to ribbon cuttings, bragging about the jobs you're providing to your constituents, and loudly taking credit in local media for all the dollars you're bringing into your district? That's a whole different level of hypocrisy. Complaining about it probably won't actually do much good, but there's no question that it's a legitimate target for mockery.

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