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Earmarks: A Plague on Both Houses

On March 17, 2021, House Republicans voted yesterday 102-84 to restore earmarks in the federal spending bill process. House and Senate Democrats are already eager to put it back in practice.

Senate Republicans better nix it. It’s a plague on both Houses, and if it’s passed, a plague on both your Houses!

What Are Earmarks?

Earmarks, or “congressionally-directed spending,” is the practice that allows lawmakers to single out funding for specific projects in their districts or states. Some say the practice of earmarks provides more incentives for congress-folk to negotiate, reach across the aisle, decrease gridlock.  Get things done.

Well, Republicans, if we wanted you to given in and rubber-stamp leftist spending requests for the pet projects, we would have voted for oblivion in the first place!

Earmarks were banned in 2011 over claims of corruption and wastefulness, including a kickback scandal and Alaska’s infamous Bridge to Nowhere. Not that this ban has stopped Republicans from allowing profligate spending from stimulus to omnibus. After all, we dig our debt hole deeper every year now, another $TRILLION more.

Earmark apologists say, “But, but, the 116th Congress was the least productive in at least 50 years.” The ban on earmarks shifted too much power to the executive branch, with federal agencies largely determining funding decisions.

Plus, the suggested new rules would require public disclosure, like disclosing which member requested earmarks and for which recipients, identifying any connections the earmark has to the legislator or his/her family, capping the number of earmarks, and limiting the types of recipients who are eligible, among other things.

But the problem is, as always: the spending spigot opens and the transparency dissolves!

Congress, if you don’t want too much power vested in the executive branch, then curb executive orders. Increase federal agency reporting and/or cut their funding.  Earmarks are not going to solve either of these problems.

Yes, what earmarks do, potentially, is end gridlock. That may sound good until you realize that American citizens want you to STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY!!!  We don’t want you to be too “productive.” The average American LIKES gridlock.

What we hate is your inability to act on reasonable spending with restraint.  Lest we forget, we wanted COVID relief, directly to American pocketbooks. What we got was a massive debt enema that provides only 9% of funds American citizens.

That happened less than two weeks ago, and now you want earmarks back?

It’s no wonder the Leftists cancelled Dr. Seuss: we do not like profligate spending here and there, we hate useless projects to anywhere! We do not think the spending’s fair, we want congressional spending that’s rare!

What Americans Want Instead of Earmarks

Americans would much rather have enmity between each party in the House so that the spending would cease. If only every spending bill came with a sunset clause so that gridlock kills off enough pork to balance the budget!

I'm Just a BillInstead of earmarks, how about this: submit simple bills.

Say again? Submit simple bills.

You know, one or two-page bills. Don’t give the Executive branch blank checks. Congress should retain the power of the purse. So create sensible bills for specific things — things that all congressmen and senators can approve without holding their noses. Without having to hide from their constituents.

Why have earmarked funds and pork barreling on egregious omnibus spending vomits at all?  Why accept the disappearance of TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars every year just so you can appear “productive”?

No, no, you don’t. If EVERY sane representative refused to sign these damned pork-laden freak-shows, a couple things might happen:

Yes, we’re trying to make the Federal government LESS productive. Less important.  We should have less pork and earmarks. We need smaller bills. 

And if that doesn’t work, more government shutdowns.

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