With earmarks shaping up as the first significant battle of the 112th Congress, lots of sense and nonsense is being thrown around about the issue.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, is always a source of sense on earmarks – and most any other issue, for that matter – has tackled the nonsense in a superb piece in National Review Online that tackles the major myths about earmarks.
For example, how often have we heard that eliminating earmarks wouldn't actually reduce federal spending. Coburn's response is a model of Oklahoma straight talk:
“This argument has serious logical inconsistencies. The fact is earmarks do spend real money. If they didn’t spend money, why defend them? Stopping an activity that spends money does result in less spending. It’s that simple.
“For instance, Congress spent $16.1 billion on pork in Fiscal Year 2010. If Congress does not do earmarks in 2011, we could save $16.1 billion. In no way is Congress locked into to shifting that $16.1 billion to other programs unless it wants to.”
This is a must-read and you will find it right here (or, as we say back home, “rat cheer”).