Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Federal Budget: Pork Projects

  • Earmarks distribute government grants by political favoritism rather than merit. Rather than allow agencies to distribute grants based on merit, or let state and local governments decide how to distribute federal grant dollars within their own communities, lawmakers earmark government grants to recipients of their choosing.
  • Consequently, the distribution of government grants now typically depends on politics, campaign contributions, and the committee assignments of local lawmakers.
  • President Obama pledged to reduce earmark spending down to the 1994 level of $7.8 billion (in nominal dollars). Instead, he signed $16.5 billion of appropriations earmarks into law last year.
  • House Republicans have announced a one-year moratorium on all earmarks. House Democrats have announced a one-year moratorium on earmarks to for-profit companies. The Senate continues to earmark as usual.
  • In addition to regular annual appropriations earmarks, the 2005 highway authorization bill contained approximately 6,371 earmarks worth $25 billion in total.

No comments: