Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 7 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/28/11

Earmarks: This Liberal Says Kill Them Or Else

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Tony Trupiano
Become a Fan

According to Merriam Webster the definition of an earmark is:  a provision in Congressional legislation that allocates a specified amount of money for a specific project, program, or organization.   Sounds simple and easy enough to understand from the surface one would wonder why something that simply defines what a Congressional Districts seem to need to meet their personal demands of what their plot of land needs would be an item worthy of mention in a SOTU speech and why Democrats are unhappy with their Democratic President over his statement that he will sign no legislation that includes earmarks, I mean after all, don't we all need earmarks to pay for road improvements, senior centers, and infrastructure projects that help improve the foundation of our hometowns?


Earmarks, by the way, have a much less complimentary name that you may be more familiar with:   PORK BARREL spending.   Now the casual political observer surely has heard these words and may or may not understand them and I will define in a moment some of the more infamous "earmark" projects that caused great controversy and mainly underscore why there is a problem with them, but before I am done with this piece I hope you will understand one simple fact.   Earmarks have become blank gift certificates that need tighter control and greater public study and transparency.  


Earmarks have made the news and have either become part of political scandal or amazing tax dollar waste.   The Bridge to Nowhere is the best known project in the history of earmarks.   At the cost of $223 million former Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens slipped this earmark in to build a bridge to an island where literally 50 people lived.   Although the bridge was never built, it got more attention that politicians were comfortable with.


Former Republican Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham was convicted for taking $2.4 million in bribes over earmarked projects in his District that aided defense contractors.


In 2006, an earmark of $500,000 was set aside to build a tea pot museum.   Yes, a half a million tax dollars to build a museum for tea pots which I'm sure is very popular and a destination for millions of American families every year.


The most insane road project in the history of America was Boston's Big Dig.   Over the course of 20 years and $14 billion tax payer dollars to complete, this project became the black hole of pork barrel spending.   To his credit, President Ronald Reagan vetoed this project only to have Congress override this veto and the controversial and fraud laden project was finally completed and basically all is did was redirect traffic.


Very recently, $3.4 million was spent to build a tunnel for traffic so that turtles that lived in an area of Florida could pass the road now without fear of death.   I'm pro-turtle, but was this project really necessary?


And my favorite: Although only a paltry $15,000 was earmarked for this project at Florida Atlantic University, we now know what happens to the motor function of alcohol on mice when they are drunk.   Let's see, could that $15,000 have been spent feeding the hungry?   Just asking.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Tony Trupiano Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Tony Trupiano has spent the better part of the past two decades in and around the media. As the host of his own nationally syndicated radio programs for 15 years, Tony has interviewed over 25,000 guests and appeared as a guest on over 800 radio and (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

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

A Case For Obama's Accomplishments or Why Isn't The Truth Good Enough?

Sarah Palin Doesn't Matter

John Boehner and the Republican Lie Machine

Gabby Opened Her Eyes Today: A Metaphor Worth Embracing?

State Of The Union: The TWO Republican Responses

As The Body Count Increases We Must Ask Ourselves: Why We Are Still At War?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend