Earmarks: Clinton v. Obama

John McCain has started attacking Barack Obama on earmarks. Via Greg Mankiw, the Washington Post reports:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure more than $340 million worth of home-state projects in last year’s spending bills, placing her among the top 10 Senate recipients of what are commonly known as earmarks, according to a new study by a nonpartisan budget watchdog group. Working with her New York colleagues in nearly every case, Clinton supported almost four times as much spending on earmarked projects as her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), whose $91 million total placed him in the bottom quarter of senators who seek earmarks, the study showed.

I bet Dean Baker might ask how do these numbers compare to the gross state products of New York and Illinois? During 2006, GSP for New York was $900 billion and GSP for Illinois was $507 billion. This $340 million represents 0.0378% of New York’s GSP, while the Illinios percentage was 0.0179%.

While the WaPo is saying McCain abstained from earmarks, one might ask him how much the Iraq War is costing in comparison to the New York and Illinois earmarks.

Update: When DeanSpeaks You Listen:

it could have described the earmarks supported by Obama as 0.003 percent of the federal budget or alternatively their cost is 30 cents per person in tax dollars per year. Another useful metric is the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The earmarks supported by Senator Obama are equal to 0.05 percent of the cost of these wars. The money committed to these earmarks would fund the wars for about 5 hours.

Senator Obama opposed this war from the start. Even Senator Clinton wants to end it ASAP. Of course, John McCain would be happy to continue this war for a long, long time.