Pork or Proper?

Friday, March 13, 2009

There is an argument in support of earmarks that applauds congress members for specifying how federal money will be spent and utilizing congress’ constitution-supported “power of the purse.” The alternative being that congress is simply handing money over to bureaucracy of the executive administration like a blank check. Okay not a blank check but a check that is only partially filled in with a payee and an amount with nothing in the “memo” line.

H.R. 1105 was signed by President Obama on 11 March 2009 and included over nine thousand earmarks totaling 1.8% of total funding or $7.7 billion. (These are the checks with “memo” lines)

H.R. 1105 passed with the sum of $410 billion, leaving a $402.3 billion dollar “blank check” for the administration.

It would seem that for this argument to be sane, that congress should use its “power of the purse” to a much greater extent than 1.8% of its constitutionally-appointed duty.

Now bogging congress down to earmark every penny is unreasonable but this argument about congress performing its duties falls apart pretty quick when it only does it two percent of the time.

H.R. 1105 contained $7.7 billion of pork. ($7,700,000,000)

Earmarks are pork. This is pork.



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