Recently, there has been talk that congressional leadership would allow earmarks to return to the budget process. Earmarks have all the hallmarks of why Washington is broken: Special interests… Paybacks to donors… Career politicians doling out goodies to the favored few.
Earmarks are a way for individual members of Congress to direct funds, or pass provisions, that typically favor a small group. It’s the classic avenue to buy off donors, and reward special interests – quietly insert special language in a bill to please a few. Leaders in Congress like earmarks because by granting them, they can secure cooperation of a fellow member for legislation that he or she might not otherwise support. OUR interests are being sacrificed for those of a few.
I urged Republicans in Congress to abandon plans to re-allow earmarks. Democrats historically were the main practitioners of this unsavory technique, and Republicans stopped it. But word was they might revive it. We don’t need more pork-barrel spending, by either party.
The use of earmarks to pass legislation in Washington was banned specifically because of the incredible waste and cronyism it invited. It brought us such infamous taxpayer-funded boondoggles as the ‘bridge-to-nowhere’– and should not be brought back.
We need to completely change the way business is done in Washington. A return to the days of pork-barrel spending would be a huge step backwards.