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Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Pork is Not the Point About the Pork

Earmarks are bad to be sure but they aren't the most important consideration in assessing the federal budget and how desperately it needs reform. Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters gets it exactly right:

"The size of the budget creates a vast treasure that encourages grand corruption that makes earmarks look like petty cash. Entitlements that stretch out into trillions of dollars over a generation invites the manipulation of special interests to ensure lifetime sinecures of government funding, not just a couple of years of office construction with some old pol's name eventually winding up on the facility."

Earmarks like the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" get lots of publicity but collectively represent only one percent of all current federal spending and much less even than that when compared to the currently projected levels of entitlement spending under just two programs, Medicare and Social Security.

Go here for the rest of Ed's post on the issue and his take on a piece in The Wall Street Journal.