The issue of earmarks is a hot topic in the federal government right now, as the GOP caucus of the Senate voted to ban earmarks, agency money that is set aside for a certain project that is usually slipped into bills that have nothing to do with the earmark, according to CNN. The potential ban has been coming for a long time, as senators felt that earmarks were irresponsible spending and were more often based on the power of the state than on need.
I live in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and in my state recently there has been some most wasteful earmark spending.
One of the most recent earmarks that was allocated by Representative Joseph Cao from New Orleans was $20 million for the National World War II Museum expansion in New Orleans, according to Open Secrets. While the National World War II Museum is important for future generations to understand that time period and the sacrifices of the men and women who were affected by the war, the expansion of the museum to include a theater, a place for live entertainment, and a themed restaurant should definitely not be a priority in the recession that America finds itself in. The expansion definitely could have waited.
Another recent earmark for Louisiana is the $6.6 million for the Formosan Subterranean Termites Research Center in New Orleans to try to find new ways to combat termites, according to Nola.com. The head of the research center, Alan Lax, said that they were making much-needed advances on the termite that causes major damages to the New Orleans area. However, termites are not a priority and shouldn’t be when people are losing their jobs and can’t afford to put food on their tables to feed their families.
It is projects like these that make a ban on earmarks a good idea. If senators and representatives didn’t take advantage of the ability to get money for their states, there would be no need for a ban on them. However, when such wasteful spending is happening at a time when the American people can’t afford to be wasteful should be a crime. All of these projects may be worthy causes in an economic surge, but to use this money in this way in a recession shouldn’t be allowed. There should be a committee that decides which states need money from the federal government for projects the most, and it should be allocated in that way. We need to stop wasteful politicians from spending, and a ban on earmarks is the only way to do it.
The CNN Wire Staff, “Earmarks get ax from GOP Senators” CNN
The Center for Responsive Politics, ” Joseph Cao: Earmarks (Fiscal year 2010)” Open Secrets
Bruce Alpert, “Senate refuses McCain proposal to strip billions in earmarks from spending bill” Nola.com