Congressional Pig Book: Are Earmarks on Their Way Out?

News 2012/04/18 13:00:00
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Earmarks -- legislative provisions that members of Congress use to direct federal funds or tax breaks to pet projects -- have been sapping taxpayer money for year, but according to the Citizens Against Government Waste's "Congressional Pig Book," those loopholes are nearly vanquished. The report says earmarks are down 98.3% since 2010 (from 9,129 to 152) and the total cost is down 80% (from $16.5 billion to $3.3 billion). But it brings up a new concern.

The book writes, "While the lower number and cost of earmarks are a vast improvement over prior years, transparency and accountability have regressed immeasurably ... [Until a ban is imposed,] taxpayers will be justified in their belief that members of Congress are being creative and deceptive in skirting the moratorium and continuing to obtain earmarks." Do you think earmarks are actually on their way out, or is Congress just getting creative?

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Top Opinion

  • Dan™: Real Change, Not Fals... 2012/04/19 13:40:38 (edited)
    Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope
    Not unless they explicitly made earmarks illegal, which I don't think is possible in a republic where representatives are supposed to pursue the interests of their state's and district's constituents. My solution would be to better publicize who Senators & Representatives are getting their campaign donations from and the amounts they are receiving from those donors. Maybe even wear their donors on their jackets the same as NASCAR drivers. The bigger the donor, the bigger the logo. Something to give the constituents a constant visible reminder of who exactly "owns" a particular Congress critter. Something to shame those Congress critters for betraying the public in favor of special interests.

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  • ☆ QueenAline 2012/04/26 20:06:33
    ☆ QueenAline
    I hope so...but I have many dobts
  • jimmie 2012/04/25 23:40:04
    Don't think anything is out too much money to play with.
  • davyd god loving patriot 2012/04/23 17:55:52
    davyd god loving patriot
    not as long as we have dishonest career politicians. You know the people that doesn't worry about spending your taxes, like nobama and the clintons well any democrat for example
  • Torchmanner ~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/23 13:35:53
    Torchmanner ~PWCM~JLA
    Earmarks, like money going to Solyndra? Unions?
  • Smartone 2012/04/23 05:05:32
    Congress is only going to find new and more interesting ways to attach the tax payers hard earned money to their pet projects.
    However it it is disguised-There will always be pork barrell spending!
  • Joel Buccellato 2012/04/23 00:18:38
    Joel	 Buccellato
    I sure hope so!
  • evangel... Joel B... 2012/04/23 01:50:56
  • Joel B... evangel... 2012/04/23 01:56:20
    Joel	 Buccellato
    I don't agree with Obama's policies, but it isn't all his fault. Living in a capitalist economy means that the private corporations are also responsible for what happens, and by being gluttonous they have helped bring us down. However, Bush and Obama did nothing to help it. They tried to follow the school of John Maynard Keynes, but failed.
  • evangel... Joel B... 2012/04/23 01:59:27
  • Joel B... evangel... 2012/04/23 02:01:47
    Joel	 Buccellato
    I gave them both equal blame. In the two areas of politics about which I care the most, education and the economy, they both failed me.
  • evangel... Joel B... 2012/04/23 20:34:26
    this we agree but Obama has his blame too and He can't blame Bush for everything
  • Joel B... evangel... 2012/04/24 02:39:23
    Joel	 Buccellato
    I agree.
  • Scott Joel B... 2012/04/23 03:32:55
    True, but this Recession was the fault of the Government not Capitalist Companies.
    Freddie and Fannie were making creative mortgage loans then selling off these toxic loans to banks. Alot of the blame actually goes to the Congress and Senate that won control in 2006. Yup Democrats won both the house and the senate in 2006 and started pushing these Government ran mortgage lenders to go all out and make creative financing. After Pelosi and Reed took over the Recession hit. Coincidence? Think not. Almost every time the Progressive Democrats take over control of the House and Senate the economy goes into the Crapper.
  • Arizona1950 2012/04/22 18:42:09
    I really don’t know what people hope to accomplish by continuing to bring up the earmark problem. This is destroying America. Those darned earmarks. Not the wars, not all the unconstitutional largesse, not the people who put them in and vote for them, not the billions of dollars that are awarded to every state out there to manage the roads and highways and bridges in a very unconstitutional manner, none of that matters. None of the running up of the debt, none of the extension of the debt ceiling, none of that matters. What matters is earmarks.
  • merlinskiss 2012/04/22 16:56:19
    Not as long as the sheeple continue to allow them. But, we can hope!
  • Scott 2012/04/22 15:01:54 (edited)
    at least I hope, this is one part of the Political system I despise, If I “Congressman X” introduce a bill called, let say the "Child Protection Act". Who in their right mind would oppose this right?

    But in election years Parties will introduce bills like this and stuff them full of pork that the opposition side would not vote on. These tactics are then used against the parties or candidates on the campaign trail.

    “Congressman Y” will say in an ad that “Congressman X” is “opposed to protecting your children”

    In reality “X” voted against the bill because the bill contained a section on funding NMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association)

    This type of politics is misleading to the American public and unfair, It MUST Be stopped.
  • Smartone Scott 2012/04/23 05:13:55
    Very well stated, I hope millions of voters here your answer.
  • Scott Smartone 2012/04/23 16:11:05
    I am not going to hold my breath... So many of the electorate are so uninformed.
  • Grandpa Scott 2012/04/23 21:03:11 (edited)
    No matter what laws are passed it will be done by Lawyers who always leave a few loop holes to steal the tax payers money or if the client has enough money he can get them off >. They spend 8 plus years learning to circomvent the laws and rules we must live by >> As they think they are special >> Just look at obamacare forced on us but they felt they deserve better >> Even though we put them in office to represent "WE the PEOPLE >> Ever notice that all the laws and bills are passed to control our lifes but they make themself exenpt >>> Insider trading , 3000.00 dollar raises but cut Social Security >>.16 trillion in debt and still Spending >> All they have done his kick the can down the road and hope the next guy will have the balls to fix this country What a legacy to leave our kids >>. NO FUTURE , but higher TAXES Vote wise in 2012
  • DougE 2012/04/22 13:41:43
    The only reason earmarks are way down is because the Senate refuses to vote on any budgetary measures, or votes them down in a partisan effort to support the president.
  • Thisism... DougE 2012/04/22 16:41:17
  • DougE Thisism... 2012/04/22 18:56:47
    That's a real knee-slapper! Of course I noticed you didn't bother to acknowledge The Do Nothing Democratic Senate which that won't look at a single debt initiative or pass a realistic budget in order to make good on Chairman Obamas promise to cut our National debt in half in his first two years in the Kremlin. I find it very funny that you call link Conservatives with Borg for not chanting the collective "Yes We Can." Get educated.
  • banzaibuckaroo 2012/04/22 05:33:38
    but I wish they go away.
  • Jesse James 2012/04/22 05:30:06
    Jesse James
    These politicians are never going to stop greasing the squeaky wheel. Whenever the American people don't like something, they simply change the name and call it something else. Now we just have to figure out what they are calling it now. Just look at the money trail. Then you'll see what it's being referred to real fast.
  • W Voolzk 2012/04/22 04:27:26
    W Voolzk
    The earmarks are the bread and butter the idiots are elected for by the constitutents...
  • Chieki 2012/04/21 22:05:31 (edited)
    Not if the government can help it...

    The I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine mentality seems to be here to stay!

  • Boomer 2012/04/21 19:01:31
    Not as long as these pig politicians can buy the vote.
  • SneakyPete 2012/04/21 16:12:54
    It's called the "Political Pay-Back" scheme.
  • bettyboop 2012/04/21 13:45:44
    There just gonna get sneakier about it.
  • greg 2012/04/21 13:25:07
    We can dream of the day there not only gone but illegal
  • JustTheFacts 2012/04/21 11:40:38
    Not until an amendment is passed and added to the Constitution.
  • psiEnergos 2012/04/21 09:08:09
    Congressmen (successful ones anyway) are shysters at heart. They will weasel funds from wherever they need to stay in office. They just might not call it an earmark anymore thats a dirty word now.
  • t.eliot, topbard 2012/04/20 21:31:06
    t.eliot, topbard
    When pigs fly.
  • Farnsworth 2012/04/20 20:44:43
    incumbents are not going to do something to cut their own throats when it comes to vote buying.
  • Maria 2012/04/20 20:35:00
    concept Titanic ship wreck...you know the rich need to go first safety on board and the poor go last...
  • seadog6608PWCM 2012/04/20 19:56:57
  • dear•LT13☻ 2012/04/20 19:29:43
    That's like saying "Politicians will no-longer be liars, thieves, or bigots".
  • Wahvlvke 2012/04/20 17:33:53
    Earmarks should be a felony.
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/04/20 16:27:18
    Margaret Jacobson
    They will "find" some way to get their (our) money "one way or the other"............
  • bob 2012/04/20 13:56:41
    It's time to end that practice

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