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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

'Earmarks' are costly to U.S. taxpayers

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Congress is currently in the process of approving the annual federal budget which has become somewhat of a joke in recent years. And this year is no exception.

But what irks me are the nearly 8,000 "earmarks" for special funding that came under no discussion, no public scrutiny. These "earmarks" will hit around $20 billion in this year's federal budget.

Now let me be honest. What's pork to one is not to another. We stand here proudly in the Bootheel and defend "earmarks" for the Delta Research Center in Portageville but cry foul when some other part of the country wants to fund a museum or some dumb research project. But in the federal scheme of things, they are all the same.

Our congresswoman - along with most others - as well as our senators all offer "earmarks" for projects to benefit their districts. This is absolutely nothing new. But we're hypocrites if we point the finger of blame at someone else while defending those projects that financially benefit our region. And we're hypocrites regardless of our party label.

I find it enormously humorous that the Democrats are boasting that earmarks are much lower this year than in the past. Last year, when Congress was under Republican control, the earmarks almost topped $30 billion. So yep, the Dems are right. We're wasting one-third less tax dollars this year than last. If they want to run for office on that performance, then let them.

Of the 8,000 "earmarks", nearly 25 percent are headed toward the defense budget. And Missouri is a big beneficiary of those questionable dollars. So quit complaining about overspending on wasteful projects unless you are willing to take money out of Missouri. I for one am more than willing.

Here's what should make voters mad as hell. Loud-mouthed politicians of all stripes proudly stand before the cameras and complain about overspending and the wasteful process of earmarks. But few are willing to not bring a little pork back to the voters to assure their re-election. I don't blame politicians. I blame us for electing them and then not holding them accountable. We're simply too lazy to take the time to voice our opposition. So we get exactly what we deserve.

Pork is pork whether it's in Portageville or Peoria. And those $20 billion in special "earmarks" came directly out of your pocket.

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