A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.--Lord Woodhouselee

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The Official Blog of National Taxpayers Union

“Earmarking the *#&@ out of it”

Posted by Kristina Rasmussen - August 15, 2006

Representative Moran (VA-8) may not be a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, but apparently his stated desire to “earmark the *#&@ out of [appropriations bills]” still pervaded in the recently-passed bill that came out of committee with $141.9 billion in discretionary spending.

Of course, what’s an appropriations bill without a little anonymous pork stuffed inside? Right now the bill contains 1,867 earmarks worth more than a half-billion tax dollars and averaging nearly $268,000 each.

NTU joined up with other good-government groups like Porkbusters.org and Citizens Against Government Waste to transform a hard copy list of the earmarks into an Internet database searchable by state. We would have loved to insert a function to search the earmarks by Member of Congress, but none of the sponsoring congressmen put their names on their earmarks. Click here to access the database.

Keep in mind that this is the same appropriations bill that effectively forbids any of the funds from being spent on government transparency measures – namely, the Bush Administration’s Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). Guess secrecy is still the name of the game – we don’t know who’s inserting these projects, and we’re forbidden from measuring their performance.

Thoughts?   Add Comment -

Andrew Moylan said on Aug 15 2006 at 9:23am
Check out the earmarks for your state and then call your congressman and ask if he or she sponsored any of your state's earmarks. If the answer is yes, ask why the congressman's name isn't on the earmark. If you recognize the institution designated to receive the earmarked tax dollars, call them and ask them what they intend to do with your money.

Let the Examiner know what you find out at info@examiner.com with the subject line "Earmarks - National Taxpayers Union."

Jane K. said on Aug 16 2006 at 9:36pm
Go Senator Coburn