The Spectacle Blog

The Conservative Case Against Pork

By on 9.12.06 | 11:51AM

Actually, it isn't made by a conservative, but by a liberal over at The New Republic, Bradford Plumer:

The point is this: Any big-government program on the progressive wish list will likely prove even more difficult to pass than the 1986 tax reform or 1993 budget. Single-payer health care? Card check for unions? Reductions in carbon emissions? It won't get done without an orgy of earmarks to entice the inevitable skeptics in Congress. That won't be pretty, but if the price of, say, universal insurance is a bit of borderline corruption here and there, it's a tradeoff worth making. And, while it's also true that conservatives can use earmarks to pass their own massive spending programs--the prescription-drug benefit comes to mind--in the long run, institutional mechanisms that are biased toward activist government will favor liberals.

If the right ever needed an air-tight reason why to oppose pork, that's it. Let's hope Plumer's column gets read by every Congressional member of the GOP.

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