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Stop Earmarks - The Currency Of Corruption

Our friend Jenny Beth Martin and Tea Party Patriots Action have launched a new campaign

to let Congress know that conservatives believe earmarks are bad, they are the currency of corruption, and they fuel spending growth.

As Jenny Beth noted in announcing the project, Washington does not need any more ‘help’ spending taxpayer funds.

For a decade, House Republicans opposed this unique form of special-interest spending, this currency of corruption. That stance is no more. A majority of the members of the House Republican Conference just voted to permit Republican members of the House of Representatives to once again request earmarks – and this is from the party that claims to be the party of fiscal responsibility!

Democrats think that renaming “earmarks” as “community project funding” will fool Americans, but we know a cute name doesn’t change the fact that members of Congress will once again be able to spend our money to buy votes from other members, in order to pass legislation that can’t get enough votes on the merits.

Back in the old pre-Newt days House Republicans were a demoralized force and remained in the minority for decades in large measure because of earmarks. Most Republicans would show up, make perfunctory objections to what the Democrats were doing and then happily toss their conservative principles aside in return for a couple of stoplights or an overpass in their district – and if a conservative squeaked too loudly the public execution of his or her earmarked project might not be too far behind.

The leaking of earmark requests was also a handy tool to keep Members in line – nothing like letting the voters in one county know they lost out to make a Member’s next trip home to a townhall or Chamber of Commerce luncheon an exciting affair that weakened political support for a recalcitrant conservative.

The return of earmarks will only hasten the demoralization of today’s Republican Conference, and the House leadership that allowed this folly to happen should be replaced forthwith.

The following is the letter Tea Party Patriots is sending to members of Congress, we urge CHQ readers and friends to go to the link at the end of the letter and send it to your Representative.

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the three million members, supporters, and activists of Tea Party Patriots Action, I urge you to oppose earmarks. Just because other members of the House of Representatives have decided to throw in their lot with the big spenders does not mean you have to. Your constituents – who grow increasingly worried about the tens of trillions of dollars of debt we are racking up – are certainly hoping you will not join the big-spending bandwagon.

For a decade, House Republicans opposed this unique form of special-interest spending, this currency of corruption.

With House Democrats and, now, a majority of House Republicans, determined to reinstate the practice, your opposition to it would establish you as one of the leaders in the movement against reckless spending.

Your constituents will not be fooled. They know that “community project funding” is simply Washington-speak for “earmark.”

The fact is that as we move forward over the coming months, having just appropriated several trillions of dollars of borrowed money in the last twelve months, and having raised our national debt to astronomical heights, we don’t need to find new ways or reasons to spend more money; in fact, we need quite the opposite – we need to find new ways or reasons not to spend money. Reinstating the practice of earmarking taxpayer dollars is not going to help keep spending under control. It’s going to encourage more irrational borrowing, and more reckless spending.

To help Americans understand more easily who’s on their side in the fight against reckless spending, we at Tea Party Patriots Action have created a “No Earmark Pledge.” It reads as follows:

As government spending grows, individual liberty shrinks. Earmarks, federal spending allocations for pet projects, fuel corruption and spending growth.

I, ________, pledge to the constituents of the ________ district of the State of ________ and to all Americans that I will not request any funding considered a congressional earmark or any “member-directed community funding” project.

We plan to promote this No Earmark Pledge through our nationwide grassroots network, and we’ll be communicating with your constituents to let them know whether you’ve signed it or not.

Please, take a firm stand against earmarks. Your constituents – and future generations – will thank you.


Jenny Beth Martin

Honorary Chairman

Tea Party Patriots Action

We urge CHQ readers and friends to go to the Tea Party Patriots Action website to send a similar letter to your Representative. You can also use the toll-free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044) to call your Representative to urge him or her to sign the pledge and foreswear the use of earmarks.

  • Earmarks

  • Congress

  • Corruption

  • Congressional spending

  • National debt

  • House Republican Conference

  • Tea party

  • fiscal responsibility

  • Community Project Funding

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