End earmarks in Albany, too

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Recent calls by Republican Congressional leaders in Washington for ending all earmarks should also apply to members of the state Legislature along with Washington.

Combined both could save taxpayers billions of dollars.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, senators Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressmember Gary Ackerman and congressional colleagues justified earmarking saying that they know the needs of their constituents better than faceless Washington bureaucrats.

This is an insult to the millions of hard working federal civil servants. It is reminiscent of the late Democratic governor of Alabama and presidential candidate George Wallace who would rail at “pointy headed Washington bureaucrats”

Most federal aid programs are distributed on a formula basis to states and cities with local recipients. Washington bureaucrats don’t decide how to spend these funds. Civil servants want to make sure dollars are spent for eligible projects, completed on time and within budget with taxpayers receiving the full benefits.

Perhaps career civil servants have the independence and technical expertise to do a better job in the distribution of funds and to protect the interests of taxpayers in avoiding any waste, fraud or abuse than members of Congress.

Larry Penner

Great Neck

 

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