Tim Pawlenty got away with not raising taxes by redefining a "tax" as a "user fee."
Now Michele Bachmann supports a redefinition of earmarks she likes, because those earmarks aren't really earmarks. They're, well, something else.[jump]
"Advocating for transportation projects for one's district in my mind does not equate to an earmark," she told the Star Tribune.
Right. Because she'd be an awful hypocrite for promising not to take earmarks while at the same time angling for federal largess from the Obama stimulus bill to the tune of $300 million for a new bridge over the St. Croix River near Stillwater.
She wants to keep her constituents happy, of course. And then there's the matter of the 3,000 jobs she claims the project will bring to her district. Nothing wrong with that, right? Nothing except that she's insisted over and over that stimulus jobs are rotten because they're not real private sector jobs.
This is all an issue because Republican leaders in the House have decided that a key component to cutting federal spending is to pledge not to take earmarks -- known to critics as pork barrel spending.
Yep, because that's going to save a lot of money -- about "one half of one percent of the entire federal budget," as Rep. Betty McCollum pointed out in a related story on MPR.