Friday, April 18, 2008

Earmarks, the Good and the Bad

Kevin Drum notes that "earmarks", which Sen. McCain (and the Dems) have vowed to attack, includes stuff like aid to Israel and military housing.

He has some sane comments as well.

As for me, I'm bitter about what I'll call the policy/legislative earmarks in appropriations (like one provision in many ag appropriations bills prohibiting USDA from releasing data publicly before they give it to Congress). The dollar earmarks are an invitation to corruption, as may have occurred with the highway interchange in Florida, put in by Alaska's representative's staff. (I like the idea of Alaska earmarking for Florida.) But, with some transparency, some earmarking gives a good way to bypass the bureaucracy, which does need to be bypassed occasionally.

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