One of the reasons the Republicans lost control of Congress was because they proved to be unprincipled spendthrifts. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have learned anything from their well-deserved defeats.
A mining company owned by Goldman Sachs and two private equity funds is in line to get a $3 million earmark for work at a rare earth elements mine in Mountain Pass, Calif. — raising questions as to why Congress would take on some of the risk for a bailed-out investment giant that’s already making a profit.
Molycorp Minerals’s open-pit mine is one of the world’s richest sources of elements that are used in the production of powerful magnets for precision-guided missiles and smart bombs, handheld communication devices, wind turbines and hybrid cars.
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) inserted the earmark for the mine into the House Defense appropriations bill, and backers say it’s a legitimate national security concern. The military needs rare earth elements, and China — which is rich in them — has threatened to cut off exports.
Rep. Jerry Lewis is the Republican spending problem in profile. Until leaders like him are defeated, the GOP can’t be trusted to again to control Congress. The time for politics as usual is over.