In Defense of Earmarks

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All the usual suspects are criticizing earmarks again. Being anti-earmark, like McCain and the Beltway types, is a way to seem anti-spending while actually strengthening executive power. Earmarks do not increase spending; they are congressional allotments of proposed spending. If money is not directed by Congressman X to the public library in Topeka, it goes to the presidency, where the federal agencies spend it. Earmarks are, in effect, a legislative blow at executive supremacy. A very minor one, it is true, but you can tell by the neocon yelps, not to mention the opposition of the Club for Growth, that earmarks are comparatively a good thing. So it is no contradiction for Ron Paul to request earmarks that his constituents want. He votes against the spending, of course, but if the earmark goes through, that’s better than Bush and Cheney getting the dough for their nefarious scheme.

1:35 pm on August 27, 2008