Cato has the goods on the latest garbage:
Eager to avoid the bad publicity of legislative earmarking, lawmakers are secretly calling or writing bureaucrats and demanding that they fund their pet projects by fiat. These projects-via-telephone, or “phonemarks,” are the hottest new gimmick on the Washington scene.
Executive branch officials can dole out millions of dollars with impunity. And they avoid the scrutiny of the public, since they are done quietly and without any disclosure.
But . . . but . . . but the Democrats are good?
Now for a secret. The big problem in Washington isn’t earmarks. They’re just a symptom of the real problem: policymakers who believe the federal government should be all things to all people. Pork projects – disclosed or not – are inevitable in such an environment no matter what you call ‘em.
Term limits. That’s the only way to stop this.