"The 2012 Pig Book noted that although there were fewer earmarks than in prior years, the projects involved larger amounts of money and included fewer details. This is also true in 2014. For instance, a $25 million earmark for the National Predisaster Mitigation Fund appearing in the FY 2014 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act corresponds to 58 earmarks totaling $24.6 million for the same program in the FY 2010 DHS bill. The 2010 earmarks appeared in the 'Congressionally Directed Spending' section at the end of the bill, which contained the names of the members of Congress requesting each project and its location, as required by the pertinent transparency rules. "This is in stark contrast to the FY 2014 earmark, which contains no such information."
When committing a crime, some criminals try not to leave fingerprints at the scene. Congress engages in criminality on a higher plain by not leaving "fingerprints" on their earmarks. Who will hold them accountable? Apparently not enough voters, too many of whom appear indifferent, or deliberately ignorant of it all.
To paraphrase the old Peter, Paul and Mary song: where has all the money gone? Long time passing. Gone to earmarks and down a sinkhole. When will we ever learn?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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