National Taxpayers Union is disappointed that President Trump would encourage Congress to lift the ban on earmarks. A return to the “bad old days” of pork barrel politics and pet projects is the last thing Congress should be doing. Bringing back earmarks would be a major step in the wrong direction, particularly for a Congress and Administration tasked with “draining the swamp.” Nor will calling this new scheme by some other name fool the American people. They will quickly recognize that this process short-circuits, and shortchanges, them.
The Era of Earmarks was distinguished by an irresponsible attitude toward budgeting from which we are still attempting to fully recover. Trading favors was often easier than doing the tough legislative work that required compromise, open debate, and principle.
Congress achieved a major legislative victory in comprehensive tax reform and should be building on this success toward other limited-government achievements on the horizon. Instead, taxpayers could lose ground on what has been a long-time crowning achievement.
Federal Affairs Manager, National Taxpayers Union