Taxpayers for Common Sense

A non-partisan U.S. budget watchdog, TCS notes that 11 out of 24 major federal agencies cannot pass a financial audit. TCS tracks “earmarks” — porky add-ons to bills that eat up billions of tax dollars for questionable purposes. Like what? How about $2.4 billion for ten C-17 cargo aircraft that the Pentagon didn’t ask for? (Why? Because it brought money to the district of the congressman who threw that into the defense appropriation bill.) Or $223 million for a bridge to a small local airport and fewer than 100 constituents living on an island in Alaska — that’s already well served by a ferry line. Despite recent reforms, the problem is getting worse. In 1996 there were 300 earmarks attached to the Federal Budget. In 2006 there were 12,000. This year there are more than 32,000 earmark requests up for approval in the House of Representatives alone, leading to ever-more corruption among our elected officials. It has to stop; TCS is a good place to learn about what’s going on, and how you can help to stop it. It’s time that we demand common sense.

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