Opinion

Insignificant Actions, Significant Behavior

By Allen Wilson

Earmarks are The Gateway Behavior to Spending. Over and over again I hear pundits and legislators alike say that earmarks aren’t the problem. Even if they were eliminated it would not make a sizeable difference in the deficit. While this is true in and of itself there is a larger picture to be seen.

We’ve all seen what appears to be a good and sincere person toddle off to Washington, D.C. only to metamorphosis into a RINO, pork barrel spending machine. Like alcohol may lead to pot and pot to cocaine or heroin, the drug of power seems to have gateway behaviors for some. Those behaviors are much more addicting than drugs and they are more easily justified as “good and noble acts”.

There is no rehab program for power junkies whose drug is spending other peoples money. There aren’t any patches they can wear on their arm and intervention seems to be the only solution that society can resort to. Even when forced to quit cold turkey, most of these addicts will refuse to face their addiction.

My suggestion here is that eliminating earmarks will not solve the economic crisis directly and will not alter the behavior of most congressional power addicts. What it will do is help prevent the newly elected and unexposed freshmen from becoming addicts. Each of these seemingly insignificant acts, like earmarks and “emergency debt ceiling expansions” that can be eliminated serves to reinforce the behaviors we seek in our representatives.

How important is the elimination of earmarks? As important as refusing that first joint. It is as important as reprimanding your new driver for speeding. It’s the way that we the people shape the behavior of government rather than allowing government to shape the behavior of the people. In the end if we can do this we can retain our liberty and expect those that govern to serve.

If we fail we shall be ruled, not governed.

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