Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   2 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

So, what's wrong with earmarks?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (8 fans)

So, what's wrong with earmarks? It has become part of the conventional wisdom that earmarks are evil, that they consist of worthless projects such as studies of swine odor and 'bridges to nowhere.' And undoubtedly there are a few such poor examples of government spending. In any budget emerging from Congress, some legislators will insert their pet projects into the mix. But why has America accepted the fallacy that earmarks are necessarily wasteful and worthless? That is totally incorrect.

Part of the problem, of course, is a matter of semantics. One person's earmark is another's vitally needed infrastructure project. By denigrating the restoration of America's crumbling (literally, in some cases) infrastructure we make it harder to repair or replace what desperately needs to be fixed. Our highway system was developed decades ago, some bridges are ready to fall down, many public buildings are hazardous and non-functional, and that is just for starters. What's wrong with fixing such major problems?

John Maynard Keynes, the founder of modern macroeconomics, argued during the Great Depression that there should always be a shelf of needed government projects kept on tap, to be implemented when necessary. Surely if the nation does not attend to public works needs or studies our emerging national problems, those needs will never be met and those problems will never be faced. What is wasteful about taking care of the nation's business?

One of the ironies in the anti-earmark position is that often its strongest advocates are among the first to demand funds for projects in their own Congressional districts. Tabulations of earmarks in recent legislation show little difference between the amounts of funds asked by anti-earmark and pro-earmark legislators. As the Chinese say, empty rice barrels make the most noise. We seem to have a lot of those barrels in Congress.

Each and every government program and project, at all levels, should be evaluated on its own merits in a thorough and objective manner. All of the earmarks in the present federal budget do not begin to compare to all of the billions which go into unneeded, and often non-functional, new weapons systems. During the Cold War, it was estimated that the United States and the Soviet Union had enough nuclear missiles on hand to kill the entire human population of the Earth ten times over, not to mention destroying the planet. Most of those missiles are still around, and many are not even secured. Compared to that doomsday situation, I'll take earmarks and public works projects anytime.

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Support the intelligent use of earmarks to improve our economic and social welfare.

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of Pownal, (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

American Banking's Shameful Double Standard

The Decline and Fall of AARP

Ukraine and Putin: Shades of Adolf Hitler!

Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac: No Honor Among Lenders!

Romney's Rancid Rant!

Planetary Payback Time Has Arrived!

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

The issue at hand doesn't boil down to the fal... by Chrissie B. on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 9:14:50 AM
1)  They usually have nothing to do with the ... by David Austin on Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009 at 1:07:18 PM