Tuesday, April 01, 2008

We Have No Principles to Offer, so We Will Offer Money Instead

Congressional leaders of both parties, lacking any actual policy proposals that would justify their re-elections, have decided to further their practice of bribing their constituents. The Associated Press reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has "quietly shelved" a proposal to place a one-year moratorium on earmarks.

While some Republicans will, no doubt, try to make hay out of Ms. Pelosi's party affiliation, this is really a problem of a political class that, even in the midst of a possible recession and out of control budget deficits, continues to spend other people's money in order to further personal ambitions.

Congressmen who engage in this form of piracy do so after making the following calculation: most taxpayers decry the notion of wasteful spending in general, but appreciate actual money brought home by their own representative. Principled people from both parties need to attack this reality. Asking taxpayers in, say, Portland to pay for some project in north Texas with no federal purpose is thievery. Politicians who brag in campaign ads that they have done so prove themselves to be little more than artful dodgers with publicists.

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