When absurdity gives way to hilarity, you must be talking about politics. In the midst of a colossal global concern for the economic stability of our great nation, Kansas City's 5th Congressional District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver has one small earmark on his wish list that deserves some attention.
Cleaver has listed a new earmark - one of several - and he promises to "fight for every one." But this is a whopping $48 billion package that must go down as the grandaddy of all earmarks.
Proposed by a gentleman named Lamar Mickens, president of the non-profit Quality Day Campus, the $48 billion earmark would funnel money into the inner cities to give money to the poor and thereby produce a much larger consumer class to buy the goods and services produced in this country.
Just call this redistribution on steroids.
Cleaver's office says this of the proposal:
"The Epicenter is a proposed estimated $48 billion (Phase One) mass scale urban reclamation project for combating, reducing, reversing and/or eliminating poverty within under served communities by utilizing mass scale economic redevelopment to bring about stability and self-reliance.
OK so the idea is short of specifics.
Currently Mickens operates this massive proposal out of his home but with Cleaver's help, this earmark could put him on the road to success.
Cleaver provides a link to a Mickens "manifesto" where a lengthy agenda is outlined - but again with no specifics other than the rich should provide money to the poor so that the poor will have more money to spend.
But wait, there's more.
Apparently this is not the first time Congressman Cleaver has promoted this massive redistribution plan. Alas, past attempts obviously have been unsuccessful.
It matters little where you fall on the earmark debate. I've said countless times that earmarks that assist your region are always worthwhile projects while those that benefit another region are pork projects. That is the patent hypocrisy of earmarks.
But by any definition, Cleaver has clearly not gotten the memo that we're in a financial crisis.
The sole puzzling aspect of Cleaver's earmark is the price tag. Why not make it a cool $100 billion or perhaps more. If you truly believe that fairness involves this massive shift of money, then why mess with a paltry $48 billion.
Wait. I forgot. This is just Phase One.
Now I understand!