Congressional Earmarks

Topics: Alaska, Federal government of the United States, United States Congress Pages: 1 (360 words) Published: June 5, 2011
Congressional earmarks: let’s get rid of them
In fiscal year 2008, there were 11,524 earmarks totaling $16,501,833,000 for appropriations accounts. A Congressional earmark is a provision that directs funds to be spent on specific projects. Congressional earmarks should be banned and the unused money should be returned to the citizens. The largest Disadvantage of congressional earmarks that I can see is the amount of money they use. An earmark on an Alaskan highway bill was for a bridge, that took money from hurricane reconstruction. This bridge would have cost $320 million. As federal taxpayers would you like to pay $320 million, by way of three separate earmarks? These three earmarks where added to the highway bill in 2005. These earmarks managed to take almost $223 million from a reconstruction project for a bridge in Louisiana. According to the 2010 copy of the Congressional Pig Book , it showed almost 9,200 earmarks totaling $16.5 billion dollars. Even though that is a 10.2% decline from 2009, the fact that we are trillions of dollars in debt and we are using the money to fund projects like the Monroe County Farmer’s Market in Kentucky and The second largest disadvantage that I can see from the use of earmarks is the humiliation and disgrace they can bring. The bridge above that is mentioned took money for hurricane reconstruction. This project is a humiliation to the people of Alaska and the U.S. Congress some people say. Some people view the bridge as an object of national ridicule and a symbol of the fiscal irresponsibility of many in Congress toward the money entrusted to them by the taxpayers. In response to this national humiliation, many in Alaska have vented their anger in the state's newspapers, and the papers' editors have also objected to the bridge on their editorial pages. According to “David Raskin of Homer, Alaska, wrote, "Alaskans owe an apology to the people of New Orleans, to Alaska Native people and to the...
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