Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No Earmarks

Obviously it makes sense from Obama's perspective to get a bill without earmarks, giving the executive branch much more flexibility about how to spend the money. It also makes sense from a negotiations perspective to prevent every member from demanding their little cut. But it isn't clear that this is actually better policy. Sure the earmark process is often flawed, and some resulting projects are absurd and/or corrupt, but it's also the case that members of Congress sometimes have a better understanding of local needs than the federal DOT does.