Enamored with pork
The New Republic made a liberal case for earmarks recently that I thought had a flawed logic to it.
The thrust of their argument is that several progressive reforms – the tax simplification in 1986, Clinton’s economic program in 1993 to name a couple – were successfully enacted by making small and largely insignificant concessions to hold-out politicians, with such goodies as transition rules and special interest tax breaks.
But isn’t it true that some hold-outs make deals related to earmarks and pork-barrell legislation specifically because that practice is a legislative option? Isn’t it also true that a politician desiring a bridge to Nowhere could hold up a bill with his vote just to secure that earmark?
Wouldn’t political dealmaking in Washington have to change if earmarks were curtailed?
Wow – the idea of winning passage of a bill on its merits instead of on the pet project you can offer to the Senator with the 51st vote in favor.
Probably requires more thought and work than most politicians are interested in putting into their jobs.