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With Such Standards, Everyone is Heroic

I sent this letter yesterday to the Washington Post:

Rick Perlstein suggests that it’s petty and unjustified to criticize Sen. Hillary Clinton for earmarking $1M of taxpayers’ funds to pay for a museum at Woodstock (“Getting Past the ’60s? It’s Not Going to Happen,” February 3).  His argument is that the amount of money involved is so relatively small – only “one-millionth of the federal budget.”

The ethical standards to which we hold politicians are truly meager.  Mr. Perlstein apparently cares neither about the constitutionality of such earmarks nor about whether or not they serve the public interest.  Earmarks such as this one are okay, in his view, simply because the size of each one is so paltry in comparison with Uncle Sam’s budget.  I wonder if Mr. Perlstein or Sen. Clinton would excuse me if I refused to pay my taxes this year on grounds that my taxes are an infinitesimal portion of federal revenue.

Donald J. Boudreaux