CL Opinion – Earmarks helped Mississippi

But the zeal of tea party budget cutters to do away with earmarks essentially means money likely will go to other states. It’s not even likely to affect spending much, as earmarks only amount to about 1 percent of the total budget.

As even Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has noted, eradicating earmarks only gives the executive branch “a blank check” to decide how to spend federal money.

Earmarks are not luxuries. They provide key funding for road and bridge projects, health care and, especially higher education in this state. Taking away congressional discretionary spending hurts Mississippi. It is good Cochran is seeking ways get around the foolish policy of ending earmarks.

Clarion Ledger