Do you know why legislative “earmarks” suck?

I did not know what McCain meant when he said he never pursued an “earmarked” legislation. So I checked up on this interesting issue.

McCain has been opposed to earmarks for his entire career. Obama said he tried to get over $700 Million for his friends and constituents over the years. He was able to land about $240 Million. Hillary Clinton also obtained money.

I’ve learned a couple of things since yesterday about earmarks:

1. According to the New York Times the money does not necessarily go to line the pockets of friends and relaitves; Obama, for example, obtained $10 Million for a militrary arsenal in Rock Island, IL and a couple million for soybean disease research at the U. of Illinois. Some money went to school clubs and sports programs at Chicago Jesuit Academy. He also requested $1 Million for the U. of Chicago Medical Center to fund construction of a pavilion to make room for more patient treatment. Other hospitals in Illinois were on Obama’s list. Possibly Obama requested money to make his friends rich. I don’t know.

2. Some representatives use earmarks to help line the pockets of campaign contributors, friends and relatives or just for themselves.

3. Earmarking is not an illegal activity. There was a bill introduced by the Republicans but it never made it very far. Congress folks like to protect their own interests and I suspect the Republicans knew this in advance so introducing a bill was not a threat to their sucking more money from your pockets for who knows what reasons.

Take a look at this article:

FOX News Documentary Shows Congressmen Sent Millions in Earmarks to Their Own Families


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,361061,00.html

Once you read about earmarks it will be difficult for you to forget how our Congress folks are ripping us off pretty much all of the time.

~greg

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4 responses to “Do you know why legislative “earmarks” suck?

  1. Hmmm… The article raises some great points about corrupt politicians, but a lot of earmarks seem to be for legitimate stuff. The real question, as I see it, is SHOULD the federal government be taxing citizens to pay for little, local projects? In Illinois, state legislators regularly get earmarks to pave roads, support mental hospitals, create bike paths, and do all sorts of stuff. This all seems good for the communities that receive them, but the problem arises when other needy communities are ignored for political reasons (and they are paying for the paved roads of the earmark-receiving communities).

  2. Linked on blog.

  3. Pingback: Interesting blog about earmarks… « Tyler Cowen is a God in the Econ world

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