Earmarks Get A Bad Rap

To listen to the pols ranting in Washington one would think that earmarks are the work of the devil himself, or are the devil’s feces.

All the rhetoric makes it sound as if the earmarkers are forcing the government to spend more money than it should.

Not so.

An earmark doesn’t add money to a bill’s appropriation.

An earmark simply directs where some part of the money is to be used in a Congressman’s district or state. The money is already approved. The issue is merely one of where and how it is to be spent.

To call earmarks ‘pork’ is disingenuous. That implies money added for foolishness. Earmarks are more like arterial blood being directed to nourish  some remote or minor part of the body politic. Keep in mind the old saying, ‘One man’s pork is another man’s broccoli.’

Possibly the best reform of the process would be one that requires earmarks to be reviewed and to be publicly defended before being accepted. The review should be non-partisan. It makes no sense for a Senator from Arizona to get up on the Senate floor and criticize an earmark for volcano study in Hawaii on no basis other than it’s an earmark.

If such a review is instituted, perhaps then the country could get on to a much more serious matter, one of great import, and that is the problem of unwanted ear hair on middle-aged and elderly men. The Lion considers ear hair a serious problem and welcomes an open and constructive discussion focused on the two major aspects of the difficulty – how to get rid of ear hair, or, alternatively, how to get women despite having ear hair.

The floor is open.

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7 Responses

  1. The earmark thing is yet another example of politicians being able to exploit the general level of ignorance of Americans. First, they never knew a damn thing about them, which worked nicely for dickish senators and congressmen. Then when such dickish exploitation of earmarks was made public, other dicks pointed to earmarks as evil and Americans collectively hissed. It’s embarrassing really, and yet another example of why we need to invest more money into education.

    Btw, I’ve already been afflicted with the ear hair, and I’m not even 40 yet. Something must be done or else I’ll look like I have tribbles in my ears soon. My theory is that we never really lose hair follicles, they merely relocate, which is why my ears are getting hairier and the top of my head is getting thinner.

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  2. I have a theory that ear hairs and head hairs are one and the same. Which is to say if you can find the right hair on your head and pull on it, you’ll pull it out of the ear and back into your head. Obviously this means there are hundreds of little tunnels through your scalp or brain. The problem is finding the right ones. I’m going to seek a Federal grant to study this phenomenon. Or perhaps I’ll just speak to my Congressman and ask him for an earhairmark.

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  3. If I remember right, the Republicans began getting heavily into earmarks back in the late 70s and again in the 90s because that way it was not the evil civil servants and subject experts deciding what projects got funding. It short circuited the evil liberals in the bureaucracy. Of course, that’s just the view of one of those evil liberal bureaucrats, so . . .

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  4. If that’s the case Ric, then I guess all is lost. It’s like when you lose one end of a draw string in your shorts’ waistband. What’s that other end you can see gonna do to help? Nothing.

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  5. I seem to recall that an early Ig Nobel was awarded to a team that made an artificial silk purse out of several hundred kilos of sow’s ears. Also in my youth, scientists successfully transmuted lead into radioactive gold by bombarding it with protons, albeit at a cost per gram that made the actual cost of gold pale.

    I also recall all the myriad editorials, about that same timeframe, about what a waste of effort was that “solution looking for a problem” known by the acronym LASER.

    You just can’t tell.

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  6. My doctor tested my hormone levels and found that my testosterone levels were undetectable and prescribed them to me. While on the hormones, not only did I start growing ear hair, I also started getting a little moustache and hair on my knees and knuckles. It’s amazing how powerful hormones are.

    Don’t worry about the ear hair. How enjoyable you are to be with and being a good person are far more important.

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  7. ‘Enjoyable’? ‘Good person’? Jeez, girld, if I start doing that then my reputation will soon be in tatters and I’ll be shamed off the stage of blogdom.

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