Many economists play down the significance of a ban on earmarks, noting that the earmarks Congress adopted in fiscal 2010 totaled $15.9 billion, or just over 1 percent of the budget deficit. Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, the Republican co-chairman of the White House Fiscal Commission, agrees with that view, The Hill reports.
Indeed, he dismisses a moratorium on earmarks — passed already by the Senate Republican Conference — as equal to a “sparrow belch,” The Hill reports
Meanwhile, Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chairman of the fiscal commission, wants to see more focus on earmarks embedded in tax bills. “There are $1.1 trillion in annual earmarks in the tax bills and you give them a free ride,” he told reporters.
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