Opinion: Democratic Earmarking isn’t just posturing, it costs us billions each year.

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  • Politicians and bureaucrats should never be trusted with preserving the morality of a country. Such an idea is not only dangerous, but a very slippery slope. One of the best examples of Congress gone wrong is the process of earmarking, the tacking on of unrelated spending to large appropriations bills. This was highlighted just a few days ago, when the COVID-19 Stimulus was being drawn up. During the proceedings, Democrats began insisting that monies be appropriated toward universities and juvenile justice programs, while also proposing suspension of funds to certain border patrol agencies. What do universities and juvenile justice programs have to do with an immediate COVID-19 response? Absolutely Nothing. However, when Big-City Democratic Politicians need to virtue signal to their radicalized base of support, money always talks. Such is the essence of corruption, and it is by no means harmless.

    Although earmarking is not exclusive to the Democratic Party, they have always been the proponents of preserving it as a mechanism for deal making. For Democratic Leadership, a few extra dollars of taxpayer money to build something is not a huge deal, and it gets them an extra vote. The process is even better for Members of Congress, who can grandstand and lift up their accomplishments to a base of constituents that may not be happy with Congress as a whole. It is an extra vote for leadership, an extra two years for a Congressperson, and a bone thrown to constituents. It has always been a part of the way that the Democratic Party has done things, especially when it is needed to pander to populations that feel completely neglected. Expanding welfare benefits or building a new community center sounds great, but it does not actually fix the issues in a district, it just masks them.

Some of this may sound appealing. Why not use earmarking to do good for a community? There are several huge reasons. The first reason is: earmarks add up quickly. When every single member of a party conference wants several separate earmarks, it creates a situation in which billions are added to the spending bill. In other words, your money is being used wastefully so politicians can say they did something. This either comes directly out of your wallet in new taxes, or is borrowed so our children have to bear the responsibility later. Secondly, it is famously hard to administer. Earmarking causes spending bills to be several thousand pages long, and many times the money is not accounted for correctly, or lost track of. Thirdly, it is against the founding nature of this country. Congress should be putting a check on unconstitutional and atrocious spending. However, in recent years, Representatives and Senators (who have no term limits) use earmarking as a way to keep getting re-elected. When you are on the House Ways and Means Committee or Senate Banking Committee, you should be fighting for a fiscally sane system, not a broken tax and borrow agenda.

In conclusion, the Democratic Party’s consistent robbing of the treasury has resulted in truly disastrous consequences for so many Americans. Instead of allowing politicians to spend whatever, whenever, we should be trying to institute a system that finally outlaws the practice of making new appropriations in routine budget legislation. If something is truly necessary, write a bill on it; do not use it as a way to leverage more money out of our treasury for your political future. The most important thing to remember is: take action. If your Member of Congress often adds ludicrous spending provisions to regular budget bills, they are robbing you of your money, and your children of a future.

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