Why Not a Ban on Tax Earmarks, Too?

The good, the bad and the ugly about the GOP’s temporary, nonbinding and limited earmark ban.

Like almost anything else, earmarks can be good or bad, depending on how they’re used or misused -- and where the judge happens to sit.

The Tea Party push to ban earmarks -- now endorsed by the GOP Senate and House leadership and President Obama -- is a significant step. Earmarks, defined officially as congressionally directed spending, are funds carved out for a specific project and thereby help a given company or community. Earmarks can lead to all sorts of evils, and they’ve become symbolic of what’s wrong with Washington. Eliminating them, at least in the present political climate, is a savvy move that also makes political sense. That’s why so many are jumping on the bandwagon.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Mark Willen
Senior Political Editor, The Kiplinger Letter