MTYT: Ban on earmarks

By Gary McNair - bio|email

Most of us thought the election last month sent a strong message that taxpayers have had enough with out-of-control spending.  But this week the United States Senate rejected a proposal to put a two-year ban on earmarks.

Earmarks are those pet projects members of Congress like to bring back to the area -- handing out the big checks and acting like we just won the Publisher's Clearinghouse…but with our own money.

The vote wasn't even close.  In North Carolina, Senator Kay Hagan was one of those who opposed the ban.  Bravo to Senator Burr for supporting it.

Those who voted to keep the earmarks say losing them would hurt local communities.  Yes -- it would.

They say, compared to the bigger picture of the deficit, it's a relatively small number.  Yes -- it is.

But the point is this -- it's a step.  We have to take a lot of these little steps if we're going to become fiscally responsible.  And presented with a chance to take that first step, they stumbled and fell down.

They're hoping we weren't paying attention.  But we are.  And we need to keep on paying attention and let them know every time when it isn't right.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Copyright 2010 WECT. All rights reserved.