The internet is abuzz with demands that the Congress ban earmarks as a portion of cutting our deficit. Honestly I am hardly paying attention to who has and has not signed on to support such a measure. This is John McCain’s claim to fame, that he has never earmarked any money. But what exactly is an earmark and what will it mean to ban them?
An earmark is an allocation of federal money to a specified project. So rather than $18 billion being sent to the state, $18 billion is sent to the state with strings attached. So what will happen if earmarks are banned? Will you receive a refund check from the federal government for the portion of taxes they collected that would have gone to save the naked mole rat if only earmarks for that sort of thing hadn’t been banned? Exactly.
So what will happen to that money that isn’t being earmarked? It will still get paid out, the only difference is the corruption, horse-trading, and pocket greasing will be closer to home as your state and county officials fight over whether to name a bridge after themselves or a Civic Center. Our deficit will not be one dollar less and you will not be one penny richer. The only difference is a bunch of Congressmen will ride the “I voted to ban earmarks” gravy train to re-election for about a hundred more terms. How about some real reform fellows?
How about abolishing the IRS and replacing it with… nothing!? The percentage of our labor stolen from us at the point of government’s gun is but a fraction of the total amount of money Congress spends or promises, anyway. They print or borrow the rest no matter how much it amounts to. Abolish the immoral, confiscatory, violence against private property that is the income tax and then let Congress fight about where they need to cut spending. How about some real relief for the people of the nation first and then Congress can figure out how to make it work, just like when you lose your job you have to figure out how to survive.
No, what we’re supposed to accept is if we work really, really hard and call and write, we may win some token ‘victory’ which is supposed to somehow trickle down to us in the form of lower government spending. Sure, I believe that will happen. Does the Senator from Arizona have any oceanfront property he would like to sell me while we’re at it?
If we expect any real change in the way Washington does business we need to strip them of two immoral powers: the power to counterfeit money and the power to directly tax the people. Our Founders knew a paper currency was devastating to the wealth of the people and was useful for only one purpose: the unfettered expansion of government power. This is why they specifically named gold or silver coinage as the only Constitutionally acceptable currency to be produced by the government. They also recognized that a direct tax was enslavement and this is why imposts and tariffs were the acceptable methods of revenue enhancement prior to the 16th Amendment.
Abolish the IRS, shut down the Federal Reserve and sell off their gold (back to the citizens from whom it was stolen), repeal the 16th Amendment, and return the duty of collecting revenue into the hands of state and local officials who are at least closer and somewhat more accountable to the people. Task a state-level council with determining what of the federally proposed budget is actually Constitutional and pay proportionately.
This is the time for real movement, genuine change. Demand it. If they ban earmarks, great, but don’t be fooled into settling for some shiny bauble meant to distract you from the objective.