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Study: Earmarks, federal spending follow political power, inhibit economic growth

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Rep. James Moran takes the gavel

Year after year, the late John Murtha used his influence on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to bring tens of millions of dollars in earmarks to his district--hard hit by the declining fortunes of the steel and coal industries--to in effect create a new economic base fueled on federal spending. Sen. Robert Byrd did the same for West Virginia. But do such efforts actually work? Does spending taxpayer money spur private sector development?

A new study from researchers at the Harvard Business School suggests that the answer is no; that public spending doesn't ...

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