Acknowledgments expose selfish politicians, distract us from bigger problems – Telegram Awards

A struggle is underway to restore appropriations, provisions that are put on spending bills by individual members of Congress to send money to politically favored entities in their districts. A moratorium on appropriations has been in place since 2011.

Those who want the money back say the practice smooths out the budget process and promotes bipartisanship. Others insist that returning the funds would mean a wave of wasteful donations to special interest groups and congressional corruption. While both sides have valid points, this debate continues to distract us from the fact that the federal government is excessively large and, even without funding, spends money on things it should never spend it on.

The most weighted case for trademark restoration is Kevin Kosar of the American Enterprise Institute and Zachary Courser of Claremont McKenna College. Their detailed research explains that right now, due to the lack of appropriations, lawmakers face overwhelming incentives to vote with their parties regardless of legislation. This means that no appropriation bill is approved until it is turned into a giant omnibus bill and grounded the day before the government closes.

This leads them to conclude that if the appropriations were restored in a reasonable way, it would increase the incentives of legislators to negotiate and enact draft laws on adequate appropriations. These incentives would be particularly effective for minority lawmakers. Without brands …

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