Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Earmark Skimming"...corruption at a new level

Earmarks are bad enough. Now we learn they are just the beginning. Federal agencies have been skimming earmark money and have no accountability for how the "skimmed" money is spent.

Why in the name of all that is reasonable would anyone want to give the US Congress any more power over our lives?


While many of his questions remain unanswered, Mr. Nelson says that federal agencies have been taking a cut from earmarked funds for years, some for unrelated purposes as varied as staff salaries and postage stamps.

Mr. Nelson calls the practice “earmark skimming,” and lately he has become increasingly vocal over what he describes as unaccountable federal bureaucrats diverting millions of dollars into agency “slush funds.”

“They are skimming a percentage of each earmark off the top and failing to disclose what happens to those funds they withhold,” Mr. Nelson said in an e-mail message.