The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Return of Earmarks

My new Bloomberg Opinion column.

After a 10-year hiatus, earmarks are coming back to the U.S. Congress. Democrats and Republicans alike repudiated the practice of letting congressmen direct federal spending to specific projects and enterprises around the start of President Barack Obama’s administration. Now both parties have decided to revive it, with reforms.

The decision should inspire mixed feelings. Earmarking isn’t the most noble activity a congressman can undertake, and it can even be corrupt. But the ban hasn’t lived up to the hopes that were invested in it. . . .

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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