Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Myth about Earmarks

(Politico)Shh! There’s a secret about earmarks: Eliminating them won’t save taxpayers one dime. Instead, the money will get turned back to President Barack Obama so he can direct spending as he sees fit.

So a ban on earmarks doesn’t save one dime. It does, however, do three things: 1) It trashes the Constitution and violates our oath of office; 2) it cedes Congress’s power to authorize and appropriate to the president, and 3) it gives cover to big spending.

For many years now, there have been some members of Congress who have decried earmarks to hide their real voting record on fiscal issues. In other words, they vote for huge spending increases and then blast earmarks. As a result of their incessant demagoguery, just the term “earmark” has become a dirty word for many voters.

An across-the-board ban has the unintended consequence of eliminating useful spending. Improved armor for our soldiers and unmanned aerial vehicles like the Predator drone are just a few examples of worthy congressional earmarks that have improved our national defense and would never have been funded by any administration.

To be clear, there are many earmarks that should be defeated. But we should defeat them based on their substance — not because they are earmarks.

It is important to note that earmarks have steadily decreased over the past few years, but our debt have been rising. While there are some earmarks worths keeping, there are millions in federal dollars wastefully spent for a clown show in Pennsylvania, a deer underpass in Wyoming, a Colorado dragon boat festival and a storytelling festival in Utah — just to name a few. Also, don't be dupe with stimulus bill with no congressional earmarks. The last Congress did this (Democrats) and it resulted in hundreds of outrageous expenditures that was spent through presidential earmarks. Therefore, earmarks aren't the underlying cause of our fiscal problems. It is spending. Whether we allow the President or Congress to do it, our tax dollars will be spent with or without earmarks.