Earmarks Cause Even Bigger Problems

Earmarks are even more of a problem than we thought, and for a problem that I, for one, hadn’t considered.

From the Washington Times:

Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, is a scourge against congressional pork, but too few pay attention to one of his central arguments against government waste: In addition to being expensive and corrupting, earmarks distract attention from other abuses of taxpayer dollars.

“[Earmarks] take Congress’ focus away from the massive amount of waste and inefficiency within federal agencies,” Mr. Coburn explained in National Review Online. “In typical years, the number of earmark requests outnumbers oversight hearings held by the Appropriations Committee by a factor of 1,000 to 1. Instead of processing tens of thousands of earmark requests, the Senate should increase the number of oversight hearings from a few dozen to hundreds.”

A quick perusal of recent Pork Reports filed by Mr. Coburn’s office shows what he means. Much of the waste identified comes from agencies or federal grantees misusing federal funds until caught by vigilant local auditors or local media outlets. It’s the sort of abuse that would happen less often if Congress were paying closer attention.

Read the rest here: Pork for Perks




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