Yglesias Being Wrong: It’s Back!

October 28, 2008

By popular demand, the return of popular Enlightened Despot feature ‘Yglesias being wrong’.

The difficulty the McCain campaign has in coming up with examples of pork-barrel spending that don’t turn out to have some justification is indicative of the overall wrongheaded way the current fad for “porkbusting” is thinking about this issue. The general idea with earmarks is that you want to enhance your popularity with your earmarks. With rare exceptions (like the Bridge to Nowhere that Sarah Palin likes to pretend to have said “thanks but no thanks” to), you don’t actually do that by requesting money for totally pointless wastes of money.

The issue with earmarking isn’t that the money generally goes to total waste. The problem is that allocating funds for basic infrastructure or scientific research according to the relative clout of different politicians is inefficient.

Wrong, Yglesias.  The issue with earmarking is that the Federal government has no fucking business paying for local projects.  Even if that bridge had been going somewhere, even if it were in a politically underpowered state, the federal government would have no business spending its money on it.  You know who are a great choice to pay for Alaskan bridges? Fucking Alaskans. 100% of the time.


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