Buzzword: Earmark

Marketplace Staff Jan 19, 2007

A congressional Trojan horse brings us this week’s Marketplace Money buzzword, “earmark.” An earmark is an allocation of money, often attached quietly to an unrelated bill. It’s one way the folks in Congress fund pet projects. When the bill is passed, the earmark leaps out and takes a chunk of the federal budget. One infamous earmark? The bridge to nowhere in Alaska, which had a price tag of 223 million bucks. This week the Senate passed new rules that would make Senators more accountable for earmarks. It could be the Trojan wars are coming to an end.

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