Examiner Editorial: Message to GOP – Don’t try ending earmark ban

In March, House Republicans made an important move to restore their credibility as the party of fiscal discipline when every one of them voted to ban earmarks.

“Now House Republicans are going to the American people and saying we want a clean break from the runaway spending in the past. And that’s going to be quite a contrast from this Congress and the administration,” House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence said.

That was then. This is apparently now: “With their eyes on a House majority, Republicans are leaving the door open to allowing earmarks after a one-year party-imposed moratorium,” Politico reported Friday. Republican leaders such as House Minority Leader John Boehner and Whip Eric Cantor are suddenly hedging on the issue.

Perhaps we need to remind the would-be House leadership why they should continue to steer clear of earmarks.

Giving individual Congress members the power to apportion millions of dollars to recipients of their sole choosing breeds corruption. As a timely reminder, on Friday top Democratic lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti pleaded guilty in a Virginia courtroom to making hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign donations in exchange for earmarks for defense contractors obtained by his friend and mentor, the now-deceased Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa. Earmarks grease the wheels to pass expensive legislation regardless of their merits or demerits.

The profoundly unpopular Obamacare bill would have died an ignominious death had Sen. Ben “Cornhusker Kickback” Nelson, D-Neb., Sen. Mary “Louisiana Purchase” Landrieu, D-La., and Sen. Bill “Florida Flimflam” Nelson, D-Fla., not traded their votes for hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to redistribute to their constituents. And for the record, earmarks don’t help local economies, as demonstrated by a recent Harvard University study that concluded federal pork kills jobs and stifles growth by fostering dependence on government money.

It’s easy to give up earmarks when you’re in the minority and not writing your own appropriations bills. The true test will come if voters restore Republicans to the majority in November. If that happens, it will be in great part due to the tea party movement. Activists have marched on Washington, D.C., to deliver a message that’s shared across the political spectrum: Stop the wasteful spending.

Nothing epitomizes wasteful spending more than earmarks. An earmark ban won’t solve our fiscal crisis, but it’s a critically important measure of how genuinely Republicans are now dedicated to restoring fiscal discipline in the nation’s capital.
If they compromise on this issue, their credibility will be irrevocably damaged. So don’t even think about it , Mr. Boehner.

editorialsOpinionrepublicanTea Party

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Many famillies have supported keeping John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park free of car traffic. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over future of JFK Drive heats up

Shamann Walton compares accessibilty issues to segregation, likens street closure to ‘1950s South’

Tara Hobson, center, principal at SF International High School, welcomes a student back on Monday, April 26, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD seniors get a chance to say goodbye to school in person

Deal to briefly return older students to school leaves many parents and teens dissatisfied

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College union deal staves off layoffs, class cuts

One year agreement allows community college time to improve its finances

San Francisco Giants pitcher Logan Webb (62) faced down the Rangers Tuesday in a two-game sweep by the giants. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Webb posts career-high 10 strikeouts as Giants finish sweep of Rangers

The Texas Rangers arrived in San Francisco with one of the hottest… Continue reading

A Homeless Outreach Team member speaks with homeless people along Jones Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed proposes another street outreach team to divert calls away from police

San Francisco would launch a new street outreach team to respond to… Continue reading

Most Read