The Issue of Earmarks does Matter
While the Republicans have generally made peace with regards to how they will proceed with earmarks, the fact that they consider them to be trivial and in the case of Jim Inhofe, the right thing to do, earmarks are the first necessary step in righting the ship.
Earmarking is a symptom of what is wrong with congress
James Madison said famously upon vetoing congressional spending that:
Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them, the terms 'common defense and general welfare' embracing every object and act within the purview of a legislative trust.
(H/T: Americans For Prosperity
The very problem that we have with both the Democrats and the establishment Republicans (not all are RINOs) is that they love the power and the control that they get from congress. Our money is seen by them (and by the Jim Inhofe's in particular) as THEIR money.
Earmarks are used as Bribes on Other Issues
Who can forget such things as the Husker kickback and the Lousiana purchase as part of the healthcare bill?
Further digging by the Sunlight Foundation shows that the 11 "pro-life" Democrats who compromised their beliefs for expediancy also received larger earmarks than they had previously put in for.
Earmarks Give Ownership
The biggest issue, however, regarding earmarks is a more simple principle: earmarks give ownership.
Why is ownership a bad idea?
The reason is that while Senators due represent their state, they also are suppossed to be taking care of the Republic and protecting the constitution not playing a game of how much money can I steal from other states and take home.
Let's say that you and I are running a small business and we sit down to cut spending. Now what happens if I control 60% of the business and you control 40% of the business and any extra money that we don't cut comes home to one of us in a bonus? Now, how easy is it to cut. Do we cut across the board or do we argue a bit more over how that money will be spent?
Inhofe and McConnell argue that earmarks don't cost extra, but is it easier to cut ten percent of the Department of Education's budget or cut the extra money for Kentucky magnet schools?
Earmarks are the first step to sanity
Earmarks are the first step to sanity.
It's like cutting hot fudge sundaes when starting a diet. It may only be once a week and it might be a small amount of your total calorie intake over the week's time, but if you can't stop eating sundaes, there's very little chance that you're going to give up seconds and thirds of normal food and make other hard choices in your diet plan.
Change Jar Conservative ... formerly known as Oz