The Corner

Crashing the Earmark Party

Over at RedState, Erick Erikson invites everyone to crash the Murtha payback party described in Robert Novak’s Feb. 16 column:

The annual payback dinner by defense contractors who benefit from earmarks by Democratic Rep. John Murtha, chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, will be held Feb. 27 at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Virginia, across the Potomac from Washington.

Murtha, a close adviser of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is one of the leading earmarkers in Congress. The earmark recipients will be paying the $1,500 a person admission to “An Evening with Jack and Joyce Murtha.”

Although the dinner is timed to coincide with the anniversary of Murtha’s first special election to Congress in 1974, invitations for it were mailed just before the annual deadline for earmark applications. 

There is a strong and valid argument that earmarks represent only a small portion of our now $3 trillion federal budget. But they are wasteful, they’re a politically attractive place to start the argument for smaller government, and they grease the skids for very bad bills that end up being passed.

And as Murtha demonstrates over and over again, they are an affront to the idea of good government. 

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