Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The problem with earmarks
House republicans today voted to ban legislation earmarks going forward. Earmark is another word for pork-barrel spending. It's how incumbents buy votes back home to help them cling to power and it's why something like 96% of incumbents get re-elected. And nobody is determined to cling to power like SC republican Lindsay Graham and Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.....
From Hotair -- “I support the moratorium, but if I find a circumstance back home where our economic interests are not served by the Obama administration, then I reserve the right to take care of South Carolina,” Graham said.
Murkowski, who appears to have warded off a tea party-backed challenger in a run-off campaign, is leading the charge. Tuesday, she offered a novel defense of seeking earmarks for her state, saying that Alaska, a “young” state admitted into the Union in 1959, hasn’t been able to enjoy earmarks for as long as the other states.
Entrenched senators don't particularly like the tea party, probably because they know that their time spent sucking at the public teat is limited. These otherwise useless representatives rely heavily on earmarks back in their districts to get elected year after year. The question is, are earmarks how congress should be spending tax-payer money? If a town in Iowa want a corn museum, why should money be taken from taxpayers in other states, and used to build the Sen. Tom Harkin Maize Museum, just so he can point to it as a way of reminding Iowa voters to vote for him again? The short answer is he shouldn't be allowed to do that. If Iowans want a corn museum, they can raise taxes to pay for it themselves.
No tax money should be spent on non-infrastructure projects. Further, dingbat Murkowski's idea that because Alaska jointed the union last, she should be able to make up for all the missed earmarks that the original 13 colonies enjoyed, is patently idiotic and she should be ashamed.
The earmark ban is a good one....more important for the symbolism than for the deficit reduction it represents.