A good sign. Republicans get religion on earmarks.

Byron York reports:

In the 2011 House budget, the groups found that House Democrats requested 18,189 earmarks, which would cost the taxpayers a total of $51.7 billion, while House Republicans requested just 241 earmarks, for a total of $1 billion.

The Senate is a different story. But even though some Republicans are still seeking earmarks, Democrats are by far the bigger spenders. The watchdog groups found that Democrats requested 15,133 earmarks for 2011, for a total of $54.9 billion, while Republicans requested 5,352 earmarks, for a total of $22 billion.

In the House, Democrats out-earmarked Republicans by a 50-to-1 margin. Democrats out-earmarked Republicans by a 5-to-2 margin in Senate.

With Republicans taking over the House in January, we could see earmarks disappear. At least that is my hope.

Yes, I know that earmarks are just a small portion of the wasteful government spending. I even heard one Democratic analyst say “Earmarks are a rounding error.” Only in Washington is $8,300,000,000 considered a rounding error.

More important is that earmarks are, in effect, a bribe to get Representatives and Senators to vote for a bill they otherwise would not have voted for. If a Congressperson likes a bill, he or she should vote for it on the merits and not for the earmarks. And if he or she dislikes the bill, vote against. Thus, earmarks are either a complete waste of money if they don’t affect how our Congressperson votes or is a form of bribery if it does effect them. Earmarks are wasteful or evil. Either way, we should get rid of them forever.

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