The Return of Earmarks

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My new Bloomberg Opinion column.

After a 10-year hiatus, earmarks are coming back to the U.S. Congress. Democrats and Republicans alike repudiated the practice of letting congressmen direct federal spending to specific projects and enterprises around the start of President Barack Obama’s administration. Now both parties have decided to revive it, with reforms.

The decision should inspire mixed feelings. Earmarking isn’t the most noble activity a congressman can undertake, and it can even be corrupt. But the ban hasn’t lived up to the hopes that were invested in it. . . .

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