Bill Moyers Journal

Season 2007 Episode 07.27.07

Earmark Reform?

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jul 27, 2007 on PBS
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Episode Summary

Earmark Reform?
Do you know where your tax dollars are going? How about to build 10 multi-million-dollar military cargo planes that the Pentagon hasn't asked for? What about to fund the "Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree" in Spruce Pine, North Carolina? These congressional pet projects, sometimes referred to as pork-barrel spending, are these days more commonly called earmarks. They are provisions inserted into bills that allocate funds directly to colleges, local agencies, or private businesses, without public hearing or oversight. And since so many recent scandals and ethics inquiries have surfaced that revolve around congressional favors and earmarks, the Jack Abramoff affair perhaps the most infamous and widespread, many watchdog groups have been reading the fine print and publishing earmark information so taxpayers can see exactly how their representatives are spending their money.moreless

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