Public Sour on Earmarks?


Instapundit links to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that suggests that curtailing earmarks is Americans top priority for their congressmen to do in this legislative session:

Among all Americans, a 39% plurality say the single most important thing for Congress to accomplish this year is curtailing budgetary “earmarks” benefiting only certain constituents.

Following on “earmarks” heels is immigration at 32%. Now don’t get me wrong I think that earmarking has gotten completely out of control over the last decade, but I have my doubts about this poll. It looks like it might be like those polls that show that the vast majority of Americans believe that the majority of Congressmen and Senators are corrupt, but not the man or woman representing their district or state. The actual quote from the poll is “Prohibiting Members of Congress from directing federal funds to specific projects benefiting only certain constituents”. That sounds pretty bad, but when lawmakers tout their ability to steer money to their home district they get a lot of credit from constituents. Check out this article today about Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC) from today’s Ashville Citizen-Times titled “Taylor controversial but effective in U.S. House”:

As a 16-year veteran of the House of Representatives, Charles Taylor has generated his fair share of controversy, but he’d much rather talk about money he’s generated for projects in Western North Carolina.

“It has been my privilege to secure millions of federal dollars for these efforts through my position on the House Appropriations Committee, and I will continue to do so,” Taylor, a Brevard Republican first elected to Congress in 1990, said in a statement.

Taylor is not afraid to talk about his ability to use earmarks for his district. If this poll showed that curtailing earmarks is the top priority of Americans, as it intends to do, then why would Taylor go around talking like this. Wouldn’t he be flopping around trying to play to the polls like every lawmaker is doing right now over gas prices? Just my two cents.