Are Earmarks out of Control?


Registered Member
Washington Times - U.S. troop funds diverted to pet projects

It seems to me that the earmark system is arguably THE single most flawed part of the US government. Politicians routinely insert random earmarks on to bills, creating all sorts of complications and problems.

In this instance, money is being siphoned away from its original intent - troop funding, and used for unrelated things like a Ted Kennedy museum, or a WWII museum. They're also used to try to sneak through less popular measures (and if someone votes against it because of those measures, their political opponents can then accuse them of voting against funding soldiers).

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e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
People love earmarks. Sure, they say they hate them, but then praise their representatives for bringing home the bacon, and reward them with reelection. Congresspeople also complain about them, and then work them into bills so that they get reelected, and they all do it. It seems so disingenuous, but as inevitable as death and taxes. The president could theoretically do something about it, by using his veto power, but then he would be accused of vetoing a bill that provided funding to the troops. The only way to stop it is to fundamentally change the system, but do we really not want that fancy new museum to be built in our city?


Registered Member
I have no problem with them making new museums (well, sometimes I do, but in general, they're fine).

I have a problem with them doing it by sneaking it in through random, unrelated bills.


e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
I was remarking on the irony of how people vote versus what they say, and being altogether cynical, rather than arguing for anything. In any case, all these projects and various things that benefit some particular community or another are tacked to some large spending bill or another. That is how it goes. When a Congressdude says he did this or that for his voters, he means to say he got this and that tacked onto some arbitrary bill, and snuck it through like a ninja in the night. They could instead tack it to the omnibus spending bill or the like, but it all makes the same difference at the end of the day.


not a plastic bag
Well, we had the line item veto for a year or so before it got nixed by the Supreme Court. I can see a problem with that also. I mean the President could automatically scratch anything going to NJ because its a hellhole or TX because TX is a red state and he wants to make the blues happy; or some such, that was just 2 crappy made-up examples. There was a line item that would then send the bill back to Congress for a quick vote. That seems like a good idea. The line item is something that took over 10 years to pass the first time. I would expect this new provision would take at least that long. Its just not a popular concept.