Tea Party or Pork Party??

Another reason I’m not confident the November elections will mean much: the Congressional Tea Party Caucus loves its pork.  $1,049,783,150 worth, to be exact.

The old canard from earmark defenders goes something like “This money doesn’t increase the budget, so what’s the big deal?”

Eliminating earmarks alone won’t solve much, as they account for approximately 1% of government spending.  But if earmarks are used to purchase a politician’s support for much larger spending, than it’s a big f’n deal, as someone once said.

And that’s exactly what happens.

The 2008 bailouts were initially rejected by the House, but approved a few days later thanks to congressmen loading the bailout up with home-state/district projects.

Also, when you factor in that the budget baseline goes up every year in order to make room for expected pork spending, you can’t honestly say “earmarks don’t increase spending.”

Earmarks need to be eliminated, but that’s only the start.  Nick Gillespie & Vernonique de Rugy offer spending-cut proposals without the prospect of increased taxes.  The Cato Institute has some proposals of its own.

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