PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Reader Jim Uren heard back from Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA):

Hi Glenn,

A response to my inquiry arrived today, about 2 weeks after my email was sent.

It is not responsive to my question about cutting pork, but instead talks about class and race, former FEMA head Mr Brown, and spending bills that theCongresswoman has voted for.

Lame. Meanwhile, blogger Eric Cowperthwaite isn’t any happier with the response he got from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA): “I plan to vote against Senator Boxer when she comes up for re-election and I plan to vocally and publicly let people know that she is absolutely unwilling to cut waste and pork from the budget in order to be fiscally responsible.”

UPDATE: Meanwhile, here’s a detailed look at the Louisiana pols’ demands for hurricane relief, which seems to come liberally wrapped in bacon. Layers and layers of bacon.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More on Eshoo from reader Chris Saari:

I must have received the same form response as Jim Uren, and on the same time line from Rep. Eshoo. I wrote to Rep. Eshoo about two weeks ago suggesting she give up a particularly unneeded bit of pork (a $3.2 million package for a very well maintained and smoothly flowing highway, Oregon Expressway) in our wealthy (median income ~$100,000) town of Palo Alto.

In reply, I she sent me a letter with a couple of cheap shots at Bush Administration failures, the class and race trope, and then the boast, “I’ve already voted for $62.3 million…[which] represents only a down payment… .” Not a word about how to pay for it, or for my suggestion concerning pork she could give up on behalf of us well-off, but “outraged” Palo Altans.

I guess she, like the rest of the Congressional blob in both parties who hold safe seats, figure a late, non-responsive canned reply to a letter from a constituent is good enough for government work.

I think this sort of response is likely to give a boost to the movment for term limits and a Balanced Budget Amendment, which I predict will make a resurgence in the next couple of years.

MORE: CoolBlueBlog contacted Pat Leahy (D-VT) and reports that Pat Leahy thinks that snowmobile trails are more important than hurricane relief. Meanwhile, Reader Fred Stankowski reports from Hawaii:

Just wanted to send you the response I got back from my Rep Ed Case (D)(Hawaii, 2nd District):

Thank you for your letter urging the deletion of “pork-barrel” spending from our nation’s budget, especially to finance the reconstruction costs of Katrina and Rita.

We certainly have a mutual and very expensive obligation to assist in the reconstruction of the Gulf States. At the same time, it is important to note that, in our overall federal budget perspective, the far larger and ongoing costs are the combination over the last four years of the fastest increases in overall federal spending and the broadest decreases in growth in federal revenues in decades. On the spending side of the equation, congressionally-designated project spending (aka “pork”), while growing, is a very small fraction of overall spending.

There is no question that our federal finances continue to deteriorate rapidly because of the growing imbalance between revenues and expenses. To stabilize this deterioration and then dig ourselves out of the hole, while adequately meeting our priority needs such as Katrina/Rita reconstruction, all options must be on the table, including pork and other spending and further revenue reductions.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please don’t hesitate to do so again in the future.

Over all it wasn’t too bad (for Hawaii anyway; see Gas Cap), but to say there is little “pork” is laughable. The highlighted line I think is a mistype, I think it is supposed to read “revenue increases”. Nice transition into a tax hike, no?

Heh. Lots of readers are unimpressed with the letters members of Congress are sending out, as they should be. Reader Eric Eck emails:

The many responses you have detailed from Congress to constituents are a graphic exposition of the distance between voters and their representatives. Our representatives have no interest in actually responding to voters’ specific concerns. They have even less interest in controlling federal spending or cutting back on that oh so delicious pork.

What can be done to restore fiscal responsibility in this country? I wish I had that answer.

I don’t know, but I think we’ll see a significant move to do something.