One of the ways that the Powers that Pee on You and Me keep us distracted is by inciting indignance about the cost of “pork” and “earmarks.”
The truth is that earmarks don’t cost much of anything. If they were actually all eliminated, it would make no noticeable deficit difference.
It’s been said that a little bit of private money can buy a whole lot of public money. And that’s true, and that’s where the game is really played.
A similar aphorism about earmarks would be that a little bit of public money can buy a congresscritter’s vote. Every earmark is a bribe.
That’s what should really piss you off about earmarks. You should presume, without exception or mercy, that each earmark is proof positive of having been bribed. Some congresscritters have recently pledged to refuse such bribes. Good for them. If they violate that pledge, I suggest another Bastille Day is in order.
The earmark game has become so blatant lately that it’s obvious I’m right. The “Louisiana Purchase.” The “Cornhusker Kickback.” I want to drive the point home: Never forget that every earmark is a bribe. There is always a quid pro quo. Anti-earmark whores like John McCain are trying to quit The Life. So they say. They’re not role models. They’re whores trying to quit.
And let’s not forget the flip side: earmarks are the carrot; threatening currently funded pork is the stick. We’ll close that base. You won’t get those DARE funds next year. Too bad about those potholes on the federal highway running through your state.
Not even strict term limits will make a dent in this problem. Earmarks are just the most obvious and first bribe offered.