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Friday, November 12, 2010

Earmarks in Massachusetts Threatened

The Boston Globe talks about $200 million in projects that may not occur if Republicans have their way and cut earmarks. Among the projects currently being supported by earmarks are: $10 million for the Edward Kennedy Institute (the government has already spent $38 million), $2 million to fund a new science building at UMass, and $400,000 to renovate Paul Revere's house.

Should we be worried about these projects being lost? No. If they're worthy projects, someone will fund them. Why does it have to be the tax payers? I'm no expert on the Kennedy Institute - it's nice to teach kids about the government, but in this economic environment, why should we be spending money on something that isn't absolutely essential. Same thing about the science building at UMass - if it's such a great idea, then prospective students will pay for the opportunity to study there. If not, they won't. But why should taxpayers from California to Florida pay for that.

Earmarks are controversial. Some Republicans don't want to ban them, like McConnell. Earmarks happen on both sides of the aisle, but more on the left side. For example, in Mass:

the list for Senator John F. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, contains $111.7 million in earmarks, while Senator Scott Brown, a Massachusetts Republican, has not sought any.

Time to ban them? YES.