Of earmarks and unions.

Here’s a question: Is it worth it to a Republican lawmaker to make an exception to the earmark ban if it means funding an organization that actively undermines public sector employee unions?

With both anti-union and anti-deficit rhetoric reaching fever pitch lately, George Will’s most recent column makes for a particularly salient read beyond its principle subject: Teach for America. The political environment that TFA currently exists in shows that the organization is front and center in some of the most contentious battles right now. Here’s a relevant excerpt from the column.

Speaking of leadership, someone in Congress should invest some on TFA’s behalf. Government funding – federal, state, local – is just 30 percent of TFA’s budget. Last year’s federal allocation, $21 million, would be a rounding error in the General Motors bailout. And Kopp says that every federal dollar leverages six non-federal dollars. All that money might, however, be lost because even when Washington does something right, it does it wrong.

It has obtusely defined “earmark” to include “any named program,” so TFA has been declared an earmark and sentenced to death. If Congress cannot understand how nonsensical this is, it should be sent back to school for remedial instruction from some of TFA’s exemplary young people.

Props to Will for shedding light on this unfortunate casualty of earmark-mania. I am willing to bet there are a lot of Republicans who are #facepalm right now.


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