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.

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Mark Willen
Senior Political Editor, The Kiplinger Letter