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September 08, 2008


There's also not a critical problem because earmarks don't actually increase the budget, they just carve off chunks for pet projects.

I think the main issue with earmarks is the corruption angle. When lawmakers "secure" votes on certain legislation because they promise to vote for someone's earmark, then legislation is voted less based on its impact (and relative merits) and more based on who's congressional district is benefited.

I don't have any evidence to back my assertion, but it makes sense to me (until someone shoots it down with a good response).

I'd be more impressed with McCain's fiscal sensibilities if he'd ever supported a means to pay for his trillion dollar war instead of obsessing about the penny side of the ledger. Instead he's helped rubber stamp every Iraq spending bill put forth by the president, suggested that opposition to doing so was anti-American, and never made the argument that we can't keep charging this war indefinitely on the nation's credit card.

Brendan's analysis wrongly assumes that because current earmarks are $16 -18B, future earmarks will be the same amount. In fact, there's no reason why a Dem President might not allow a Dem Congress to dramatically increase them.

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