Friday, January 18, 2008
I am thoroughly amazed at how Tim Russert is considered this enlightened and tough interviewer. I find most of his questions to be daft. A couple weeks ago I saw him interviewing Ron Paul and Russert was attempting to do one of his "gotcha" routines on Paul (this was before the Paul as a massive bigot news emerged) for engaging in the practice of earmarking appropriations. Russert was trying to highlight Ron Paul's hypocrisy for advocating a smaller government while engaging in earmarks. Russert along with much of the media has made earmarks something of a pet project. The reality is that earmarks represent a minute portion of government spending that his criticism is essentially worthless. I am not a fan of earmarks per se but I don't think they are necessarily bad either. In the scheme of things they are trivial. If Russert wants to use his pulpit to expound on the virtues of fiscal discipline he would be well advised to focus on the things that we actually spend money on: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Defense.