As I See It
Bringing back earmarks hardly draining the swamp
If the recent election results taught us anything, it is that people are fed up with business as usual in Washington. But some in the nation’s capitol remain very fond of business as usual. In fact, they want to return to the days of Congressional earmarks, allowing them to stuff billions of dollars worth of pet projects into congressional spending bills. Remember the bridge to nowhere? The symbol of wasteful federal spending linked a small Alaskan town to an island. It was eventually canceled amid public outcry over the pork barrel spending. But some in Washington want to bring these earmarks back. Perhaps they have forgotten how much corruption earmarks caused. Rep. Duke Cunningham went to prison after trading congressional favors for contributions and gifts. We don’t need to return to the days of earmarks, when members of Congress routinely stuffed federal funding for their pet projects, even a bridge to nowhere, into unrelated spending bills. And going back to the days of earmarks wouldn’t look good as the first order of Congressional business after this drain the swamp election. As one member of Congress points out, you can’t drain the swamp by feeding the alligators pork.