Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina have decided to take a stand against overspending by objecting to the nearly 10,000 earmarks, or member-sponsored pork projects, larded throughout the spending bills Congress is currently considering.
Their obstinacy has convinced the leadership of the departing Republican Congress that they probably won’t be able to pass spending bills in next month’s short lame-duck session. Instead, they are likely to pass a stopgap “continuing resolution,” which will continue funding all programs at last year’s level until the new Democratic Congress passes its own versions of the funding bills.
ass earmark-stuffed catchall spending bills could save taxpayers a cool $17 billion. All 10,000 earmarks in the pending bills will expire if they aren’t passed by the end of the year.
Overall federal spending has gone up by 49% since 2001, but you wouldn’t know it from the anguished cries of those who regard ever-higher spending as some sort of birthright.
Useful timing, given the upcoming Treasury/Fed trip to China to talk about exchange rates and China’s extensive dollar reserves (movement away from dollar reserves could be a real problem for the United States). Much more on earmarks, including local commentary.