Porkbusters has a great chart on their site showing how deep the reductions in earmarks are for the coming fiscal year. Their source says that earmarks have been reduced by 37% from fiscal year 2006, a huge drop considering that every year over the past decade they have grown exponentially. This also comes on the heels of yesterday’s Roll Call story on Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) enforcing new earmarking rules, restricting members to 5 earmark requests each.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has established a new website to push for accountability in how taxpayer funds are spent. The website states:
Each month, taxpayers "contribute" to the Federal government out of their hard-earned income. That "contribution" is taken by the Federal government under laws of Federal taxation, under threat of imprisonment and fines for those who refuse to pay their taxes. When a government wields this enormous amount of power, there is no room for any abuse of that power. Unaccountable spending of tax dollars is an abuse of power. Taxpayers have a right to demand accountability of all Federal agencies and programs.
Accountability means that an agency or program measurably achieves the mission it was created to achieve, in a cost-effective, efficient, and open manner.
As the branch of government that spends the taxpayers’ money, Congress is ultimately responsible for ensuring accountability for those expenditures. When Congress fails to do its job overseeing current Federal spending, while at the same time, increasing that spending each year, citizens have been unconstitutionally deprived of appropriate checks and balances to which they are entitled as taxpayers.
Coburn’s new site plans to issue reports on government waste, earmarks, and failures to account for government spending of taxpayer funds. It mirrors the House Government Reform Committee Minority Office website run by ranking Democrat Henry Waxman (D-CA) that regularly issues investigative reports on government actions and spending.