Our legislators created over 40,000 earmarks in 2011 adding up to more than $100,000,000,000. Keep in mind these earmarks can be attached to any legislation so they don't have to be related to the Bill. If the Bill gets passed the people who attached earmarks automatically get the money. There's a way to track most of the grants which you can look into on www.grants.gov. The site is loaded with information so its kind of hard to navigate. Anyhow, this is what I discovered:
1) Federal earmarks went up 21.6% right before the Cap and Trade vote. A good example of how this money was used is that democratic representatives from the "coal" states (states that would be hurt by Cap & Trade) received millions of dollars to help soften the politcal impact of their votes on the measure.
2) Federal earmarks went up 94.4% right before the Dodd-Frank Bill. Chris Carney a representative from PA was given $3.6 million dollars that he could
funnel to various businesses in his state in order to nail down his vote.
3) Federal earmarks went up 96.7% right before Obama Care was passed. These grants went out all over the place so it was too hard to track.
Federal earmarks have been available for a long time but I found a report by the Congressional Research Service that showed during the Obama Administration the number of earmarks has grown 54% and the money spent has gone up 126%. Before I forget there were 32 democrats who were identified as being vulnerable for re-election and it just so happens they received a significant amount of the earmarks. Are you surprised?!
I'm shocked at how bad things are in Washington; I knew they were bad but I just didn't know how many avenues of corruption were available to our politicians (on both sides of the aisle). They consider it just the way politics are done but let's face it, someone doing these things in the private sector would get fired or possibly sent to prison for bribery and/or fraud.
I can't say I have any answers to the way politicians are using earmarks to protect their jobs; except for having an all out revolution. I don't know if you know this but our Constitution reads that citizens can overthrow the government and establish a new one. If someone has the ability to design cool looking military uniforms, let me know. No pink please as it takes away from the intimidation factor! :)