It is interesting to note that two Maine airports, Augusta and Hancock County, received federal grants through the airport trust fund to improve commuter service. The airport trust fund is designed to improve air transport with dollars from airplane fuel taxes.
It is also noteworthy that two similar airports, Hyannis and Nantucket, also got $5 million each for tower improvements. This was 10 times the Maine grant, but was obtained by Sens. Kerry and Kennedy through earmarks.
Earmarks are one of the many things terribly wrong with Washington today. They are means through which politicians can give money to their favorite contributors, of course getting PAC money in return. Both Republicans and Democrats participate in this looting of the federal treasury. This ensures incumbents an easy way to raise money and perpetuate their tenure.
A few congressmen like Jeff Flake of Arizona have tried to end this practice but to no avail. The Democrats in their last campaign to unseat the GOP also promised this, but Nancy Pelosi and Tom Bonior put an effective end to that attempt.
John McCain has come out firmly against this budget-busting habit, but don’t expect anything of the kind from Barack Obama if he is elected. He refuses to change this practice. He may be campaigning for change in Washington, but don’t rely on him to reform greed and politics as usual.