Robert Kaiser’s new book has received another review here.
When a cowboy crops a calf’s ear to show it belongs to his ranch and not to anyone else, that kind of earmark doesn’t hurt anybody much except the calf – and maybe the calf’s Mom.
A Washington earmark is something else. When a Congressman and a lobbyist join to insert a special spending item into a money bill, for the benefit of the lobbyist’s client, that’s a Washington earmark. It causes lots of pain, not only to the president’s Office of Management and Budget, which resents competition for even a small cash cow, but to reformers all over the country.