The term earmark comes from the practice of marking the ears of livestock for identification, yet in American politics it has come to mean money that is "set aside for a special project or purpose": AKA pet projects, pork. As I'm sure that animals are not thrilled by this procedure, I am more confident that Congress and their frivolous spending outrages the American people.
According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, an independent watchdog organization states "widespread earmarking is a relatively new phenomenon in American politics, which gained momentum in the 1970's". Pork in a bill in Congress is as common as a hot dog at a football game. Moreover there continues to be a rise in pork barrel spending and there is no getting around it; both Republicans and Democrats are part of this Congressional excess and waste.
During the first presidential debate Senator John McCain and then Senator Barack Obama argued over the earmark issue, and Obama pledged, "Absolutely, we need earmark reform. And when I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely." Hold your applause please; I'm just getting started!
Considering the White House continues to proclaim that "we are in the worst economic crisis since the great depression", why does Congress keep spending money on flippant projects. It's one thing to spend money when we are flying high in prosperity, but when we are drowning in debt, it doesn't make sense.
Any intelligent American household would have enough common sense to cut out the "extra stuff" when they are facing dire financial times; why doesn't Washington? Are they that ignorant, unwilling or are they just self-serving?
We started 2009 spending; when Congress passed the urgent $800 billion Economic Stimulus Package claiming that it would create jobs and save our economy. Almost a year later and as we continue to await the arrival of our jobs, we do know that the White House Recovery.gov website, which costs over 18 million dollars to renovate, reported that thousands of jobs were saved in Congressional Districts that don't exist. Not to mention that stimulus checks were sent out to dead people and inmates. But, thatâ€™s another story.