Pressed by Tea Partiers, Republicans have agreed to a moratorium on all earmarks. And President Obama wants a ban on all earmarks, too.
At last, we’re putting the brakes on federal spending. How wonderful! How exciting!
Well, sorry to be such a party-pooper – but how stupid! This whole hullabaloo about earmarks is way, way overblown.
First, that so-called Republican moratorium is not binding on all Republicans – and it doesn’t apply at all to Democrats.
Second, even if you banned all earmarks, you’d only cut less than one percent of the federal budget.
And not even that, because….most of the projects now funded by earmarks – roads, bridges, new college labs – would be funded, instead, by federal agency grants. So, in the end, we wouldn’t save anything.
But, by prohibiting its own use of earmarks, Congress would be, in effect, giving all decisions on how taxpayer dollars are spent to the executive branch – which is in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.
What Congress should really be doing is forgetting about the pennies that might be saved by cutting earmarks – and focusing on the big dollars that could be saved by cutting the bloated defense budget.
That’s my parting shot for today.