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Marking Ears

I note that everybody is suddenly talking about The Earmark Game; the Other Party claims to be agin them, although of course only the bad ones.

Since it makes no sense whatsoever for Congress to give up the ability to allocate certain sums of money for certain projects (presumably ceding that authority to the Executive), the question is not whether but how the Other Party will walk back from that promise.

My thinking? Make a new term for those allocations. The important thing is that we avoid connection with ears, with marking, and with pork. And with barrels, I suppose. Ideally, it would be something dull and technical sounding (like earmark used to be).

So now, Congressmen can no longer insert earmarks for pork barrel projects like the Bridge to Nowhere, but must direct funds to important projects by introducing a preset. Or, if the project is more than ten million dollars, it will require a antemonetized expenditure rider. Or perhaps a scheduled pro-reserve.

The great thing about this is that while it is certainly worthy of mockery, they could abolish earmarks, which as they are currently applied have lots of problems with opacity and corruption, and then institute presets and scheduled pro-reserves that are transparent and have some ethical guidelines and oversight. In fact, it may be that the only way to institute an open system for the legislature to allocate funds for local projects is to abolish earmarks—and then create antemonetized expenditure riders.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.