Monday, November 15, 2010

Stop marking ears

GOP doesn't stand for Good Old Pork. Or, at least, it shouldn't.
Having won back the House largely by riding on the Tea Party movement, which favors banning earmarks in the federal budget, some Republicans now are trying to wiggle out, saying earmarks don't amount to a lot of money.
Maybe by their standards.
No matter the cost, earmarks -- also called pork barrel projects -- are highly symbolic of wasteful government. Getting rid of them would help erase the public's perception of the Republicans as just diluted Democrats. The Congress of 1994-2006 create that perception by going in as reformers and winding up as big spenders.
That resulted in Congress going to the liberals in 2006 and the White House in 2008.
Fortunately for the country, the Democrats squandered their chance as well.
Banning earmarks does not mean that worthy projects won't get done.
Florida TaxWatch has campaigned against pork-barrel projects -- called "turkeys" in the Sunshine State -- for years.
It points out that turkeys are items inserted in the budget by one or more legislators without being on the state's priority list. In some cases they are not even a state responsibility.
The federal government has legitimate responsibilities, such as building highways and bridges. But they don't all need to be built in West Virginia just because it has a powerful senator.
Ban earmarks and run government like a business. Do what needs to be done not what you need to do to get re-elected.

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