“As distasteful as we can all make arguments showing how bad it [was], we got a lot more done,” says Rick Ungar, who wrote a piece for Forbes saying there’s a case to be made for allowing earmarks to return.
Ungar says earmarks served a purpose by bringing along votes that weren’t coming along for the right reasons. Despite the roughly $15 billion in earmarks spent in previous years, Ungar says that might have been a small price to pay if earmarks could have been used to move legislation on recent budget negotiations in Congress, for instance.
Despite earmarks being used to essentially “buy” votes, which Ungar agrees should not be necessary in Congress, he says the reality is that a discussion about bringing them back still needs to take place.
“We cannot handle too much more of the situation we currently face where you cannot get legislation through or legislation can only get through when it is done at the last hour,” Ungar says. “This is not a healthy way to run a government.”