Those who have bought into the talking point, used by congresspersons on both sides of the aisle, that earmarks wont really save us much money and that its taking away rights that they are supposed to have and giving it to the executive branch… they really are getting suckered.
I wouldn’t say tens of billions of dollars is chump change… and anywhere we can save billions is something we should be doing… but that isn’t the big issue here. Its also garbage that congress gives up power they should have to the executive branch. The regular way of designating money back to the states can be done in a way that congress determines how the money is allocated. The Executive Branch has to follow those rules.
Banning earmarks doesn’t transfer power to the executive branch, it transfers power from individual powerful lawmakers in certain positions and spreads it out more among all of them. It forces them to go through a much more open process… and here’s the crux… makes it much harder to funnel money directly to supporters back home.
There is a whole industry of lobbyists who feed off of earmarks. They don’t get paid for nothing. Even some lobbyists are honest enough to admit it, like this guy from a recent article at The Hill:
The earmark ban “is going to lead to long-term change on K Street,” said Michael Herson, the president of American Defense International, one of the largest defense consulting and lobbying firms in Washington. “You will have to be able to perform a broader service rather than just get earmarks. The focus would shift to the policy and the bigger picture.”
I can see how corrupt politicians are arguing against this… but how so many people have been fooled by these obvious lies… I really don’t get it.
The only ones who would lose anything from Obama following through on his promise to ban earmarks are corrupt lawmakers, bottom feeder lobbyists who feed off of the process and dirty businesspeople who exploit this loophole.