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Reason Foundation

You bought what?!

Julie Kesselman
May 3, 2006, 9:31am

It's common practice among businesses to require their employees to submit expense reports that detail the purpose of their expenditures, attaching the employee's name directly to the bill. This means that John Smithmiester can't just go and buy a $95.2 million Picasso for his apartment and have his company foot the bill. Yet, our own Uncle Sam Inc. doesn't seem to have the same basic due diligence best practices in its congressional handbook. Until yesterday. HR 4975 passed in the House yesterday with a vote of 217-213, requiring that lawmakers submit an explanation along with any earmark request, justifying their teapot museums or waterless urinals. In addition, the bill also requires lawmakers to attach their name to the specific earmark. Yet perhaps it's all for the best that the government took over 200 years to catch up to the private sector; otherwise, America would be without the paper museums and mariachi music that are so near and dear to all of our hearts.


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