You've heard me mention earmarks in a few posts, this is just a brief review in case you do not know what earmarks are. If you are not concerned about them, you should be, because a lot of our federal deficit has risen because of earmarks.
Earmarks are little projects that Representatives and Senators tack onto the end of other bills, usually bills that are completely unrelated to the earmark. These are little projects such as libraries for retiring members of Congress, grants to businesses for a local project and so on.
While these may seem harmless "little" projects (some are multi-million dollar projects so I would hardly call them "little"), the problem is that there is no money for them in the budget, which is why they have been earmarked.
What I'm getting at: do you have a budget in your home? What would be the purpose of having a budget (and how could you keep that budget) if someone were constantly spending money from that budget for items not in the budget. What would happen if someone used your food money to buy a nice, shiny new car for themselves? Do you have a credit card? Does your credit card have a limit? Our Federal Budget has a limit, but unfortunately that limit is not obeyed, and our country is in debt. Don't believe me? Click here for a peek at how much we owe.
How does our government still pay it's bills given the amount of our Federal Deficit? Other governments, who have a surplus (from the exports we buy), are loaning us money for our debt. At some point in time, though, the piggy banks of other countries are going to run dry. Then what will our Congress do? You guessed it, raise our taxes to pay for their projects and pay off our debt.
There are some good guys in our Congress who are trying to stop them. One of them is one of our own Representatives, Jeff Flake. Click here to see Representative Flake's web page, where he spotlights the Egregious Earmark of the week. Unfortunately, his efforts have not only fell on a lot of deaf ears in Washington, he has been reprimanded by his peers and removed from one of the subcommittees he served in on Washington, D.C.