Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 3:36 PM ET, 11/15/2010

Voters send mixed messages on earmarks

By Jon Cohen

Most Americans want their member of Congress to fight for spending to spur local job creation, complicating the politics around the new Republican initiative to ban congressional earmarks.

In an October Post-Kaiser-Harvard poll, 58 percent of Americans said they want their congressional representatives to focus on what's best for the country, not their local district. But as many, 57 percent, said their own member should battle for more government spending to create jobs.

Fully 79 percent of Democrats and a slim majority of independents, 52 percent, said their representative should push for new federal funding to boost jobs in their district. A third of Republicans agreed.

Sixty-eight percent of those polled by CBS News last year said earmarks are "not acceptable," but far fewer, 29 percent, said the practice should be eliminated entirely.

By Jon Cohen  | November 15, 2010; 3:36 PM ET
Categories:  Post Polls  | Tags:  Polls; Washington Post poll; earmark  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: New exit poll numbers! (Oy.)
Next: Tax agreement numbers, support by party


YOu've got to remember.. the red states are the queens of federal handouts.

cut off alaska, alabama, texas , mississippi, georgia and south carolina and you've done away with 50% of earmarks

Posted by: newagent99 | November 15, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"Earmarks" are supposed to represent a legislator's familiarity with his/her district. If they're going to special interests, they need to get away from the lobbyists more often.

But relationship is a two-way street. Constituents have to realize that repair of a particular bridge, expansion of a particular health center the very earmarks that seem so disgusting when they land in another district.

And why do we hate having them in other districts? Because our own district has so many needs.

The trick is to follow the example of the Deficit Commission and start referring to tax exemptions as "earmarks," the same way we now refer to spending details. And then, let's judge our legislators on both sides of the ledger -- not only how much they steer back our way, but how much available funding they insist on obtaining for it -- not so much from us, the localized declining set, as from the globalized economic elite.

Posted by: revelz | November 17, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company