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Budget - Essay Example

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Members of the congress are responsible for steering such amounts of money to different projects. Hard earmarks denote a written legislation, which…
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Hard and Soft Earmarks Hard and Soft Earmarks Difference between Hard and Soft Earmarks Earmarks de an amount of money set aside for an organization or a regional group or sometimes for an identified pet project. Members of the congress are responsible for steering such amounts of money to different projects. Hard earmarks denote a written legislation, which serves as a legal obligation of designating money to certain organizations or project. The congress must approve the earmarked funds before their transfer to the selected project. For a long time, there has been an ensuing criticism surrounding hard earmarks. Therefore, members of the congress have resulted to suing soft earmarks. A soft earmark denotes a courteous request, which does not specify the amount of money, but steers funds to identified organizations. Lawmakers are in a capacity to request for funds to be allocated to a certain organization or project without the legal binding presented by hard earmarks (Mikesell, 2014).
Which do you believe to be more Effective- Hard or Soft Earmarks?
In my opinion, soft earmarks are more effective for lawmakers. Notably, with soft earmarks, lawmakers do not need to specify the amount of money and do not need to identify the sponsor. Therefore, through the use of respectful suggestion, a lawmaker can transfer funds to a favored organization without having to be accountable for the spending. Hard earmarks are highly criticized and compel lawmakers to account for the spending (p. 145).
Do Soft Earmarks Add to Total Spending?
Soft earmarks do not add to the total spending because they do not involve the allocation of additional funds to any department. On the contrary, soft earmarks make requests of how a specific portion of the existing budget can be spent. The fact that they only represent a small percentage of the government’s outlets on an annual basis serves to emphasize that they do not count in the total spending (p. 146).
Do you believe Control of Ear Marks to be an Important Public Issue?
In my opinion, the control of earmarks is an important public issue because it concerns federal funds. Notably, earmarked funds determine projects in a state that will receive funding. Since lawmakers have only been earmarking funds for their preferred organizations, some deserving projects have been left out. Therefore, it is of critical importance for earmarks to be placed under the control before lawmakers use them to promote personal interests.
Are Earmarks Necessary to Deliver Pork?
Earmarks have been used by lawmakers in an effort to deliver “goodies” to districts or states. Usually, a district deserves pork if it offered support to a lawmaker. Therefore, lawmakers rely on soft earmarks in delivering pork to their states. The fact that they do not need to disclose the purpose of spending in soft earmarks and are under no compulsion to specify the amount, soft earmarks have remained necessary in delivering pork to the people (p. 147).
How could Soft Ear Marks be controlled?
It is possible to control soft earmarks by introducing reforms. In the past, lawmakers have been under no compulsion to account for the soft earmarks used. Compelling lawmakers to disclose the purpose of spending the specific amount of money involved and identifying the sponsor can promote a measure of accountability. Therefore, with appropriate reforms that promote accountability, soft earmarks can be controlled effectively.
Reference
Mikesell, J. L. (2014). Fiscal administration: Analysis and applications for the public sector. Boston, MA : Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. Read More
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