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A bad practice gets banned!

November 20, 2010 - Lee Smith
The Republican leaders of the new Congress have made a commitment to earmark reform. They are placing a two-year ban on these “pork” projects for representatives’ and senator’s home districts.

This is a good gesture. There is no reason that projects that benefit primarily states and communities cannot be paid for by those states and communities. And many federal projects — those infamous studies of cows’ gas production, honeybees’ mating habits or bridges to nowhere — are simply ridiculous.

The way the Left is reacting to the earmark ban you’d think Republicans had shot someone. They say the president will now have too much power to allocate resources. (As if Congress couldn’t limit the resources available to him.) Or they say that earmarks are no big deal, representing only 1 percent of federal expenses. (To which one must ask: Then why not give up the measly things?)

Earmarks are notorious because they represent the nefarious practice of log-rolling. To bring home the bacon, members of Congress bribe their colleagues with the ability to do the same. The tragedy has long been that our representatives have not done the opposite, namely refuse earmarks and prevent others from obtaining them.


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