November 17, 2010
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People hear about “earmarks” but many aren’t sure what they really are. In short, an earmark is when a piece of legislation is added to a bill directing money be spent on a specific project. Members of Congress do it all the time to steer federal money home to their districts to fund different things. Of course, many will yell about pork until it pertains to their own district. Then, its not pork, its critical. Need an infamous case? Look up the “Bridge to Nowhere” debacle in Alaska.
Brandon Arnold writes a good article in Politico about how most states are getting less in earmarks than they should based on how much tax revenue comes from that state:
You and Your Neighbor’s Pork.
The article is good, but his follow-up is even better, with a chart showing how much states pay in taxes and receive in earmarks. New Yorkers are definitely getting the screwjob here:
Earmark Donor States.
Of course, if all earmarks are banned, we won’t have this problem.