November 29, 2010 12:52 PM

Commentary: 'Earmark' isn't a dirty word in high-poverty states

Republicans in the incoming Congress, under pressure from the tea party movement and voters of many political persuasions, have vowed to ban earmarks. That sounds great. But what if it’s phrased this way: They’re pledging to halt spending on state and local projects that keep thousands of Mississippians employed, and to ban spending such as the federal Katrina relief Mississippians received after the storm’s devastation. Elected GOP leaders want to turn over control of this $16 billion in discretionary money to the federal bureaucracy and a Democratic administration whose policies they despise.

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