Thursday, May 08, 2008

Eliminating Earmarks Will Not Save Federal Dollars

Yesterday, I received a letter from Senator Robert Bennett in reply to a message I sent him a while back dealing with federal earmarks. I was complaining to him about his roll as one of the nation's bigger abusers, despite the fact that his pork is targeted at his constituency.
Earmarks are funds provided by the Congress for projects or programs where the congressional direction (in bill or report language) circumvents the merit-based or competitive allocation process, or specifies the location or recipient, or otherwise curtails the ability of the Executive Branch to properly manage funds. Congress includes earmarks in appropriation bills - the annual spending bills that Congress enacts to allocate discretionary spending - and also in authorization bills.
In his response, he said that "while it is true that in some cases, earmarked funding can be wasteful, eliminating earmarks would not save federal dollars. The funding for earmarks would still be spent, only the decision on where to spend it would be determined by a federal bureaucrat."

Why must the money be spent? Why not return the money to the taxpayers? Why not reduce the tax? Congress, namely the Appropriations Committees, is caught up in a "spend it or lose it" scenario.

It does not matter which side of the aisle, this is one more example of Congressional corruption.

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