As the debate over banning or at least suspending Congressional earmarks continues, it's worth returning to a recent study from Harvard Business School which indicates that earmarks have a negative impact on economic growth overall.
Why would that be the case? Because the rise of earmarks and other hand-outs for business encourages the most talented and ambitious people to try to make money by lobbying Congress and gaming the system rather than by becoming entrepreneurs and creating new businesses.
Next question: can corporate hand-outs be reduced without reducing other hand-outs? Or is the cultural logic that leads to one almost impossible to square with a refusal to do the other?