How Important Is "Earmark" Reform?

If overall federal spending isn’t reduced, then rallying around a moratorium on “earmarks” is pointless. So says Senator-elect Roy Blunt, anyway. In the exchange below, Blunt remarks that the Republicans in the House already had a freeze on inserting those very unpopular “porky” items into pieces of legislation, yet spending wasn’t reduced a single penny. “The goal here should be spending and reducing spending, as opposed to letting the President decide how to spend all the money instead of Congress having input on how to spend the money.”

Some Republicans on Capitol Hill have begrudgingly gone along with the earmark reform, arguing that if Congress doesn’t direct where federal funds are channeled, Barack Obama will.

And we know how that turned out, do we? Blunt reminds us: “[Obama] spent $800 billion last year in presidential earmarks. $800 billion! That’s forty years of congressional earmarking.”

“Let’s not just have earmarks; let’s not spend money.”