John McCain on "Earmarks"
John McCain tends too much toward a sort of "narcissistic maverickism" for my political tastes, but he gets many big issues right. As John Fund of Opinion Journal's Political Diary (a subscription service) reports, McCain seems right on Congressional earmarks:
[McCain] said the scandal in Washington is bipartisan because both parties earmark projects for favorite constituencies and insert them into bills at the last minute without anyone knowing until later. "You've got a process that breeds corruption. And it makes good people do bad things," he told Fox.
Asked why current reform plans pay short shrift to earmark reform, Mr. McCain was even blunter. Earmarks, he said, are "perceived to be by many politicians as their bread and butter, and preserves their incumbency." He concluded with a warning: "If we don't fix the earmarking, then I can assure you the corruption will go on."
Sounds right to me.