Talk about putting your wallet where your mouth is. The city council of Grandview has turned down a half-million-dollar federal earmark secured by Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards, saying such earmarks represent “irresponsible pork-barrel politics.”

The money was to pay for a new water tower that the current city council says isn’t needed, but for which a previous council had sought funding. The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported this past week that one city councilman, Bill Pannell, said that “it was a dadgum tough decision… But you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror in the morning.”

Pannell and his fellow council members passed a resolution saying they do “not believe such funding is ethical or constitutional.”

While everyone likes free money, Grandview correctly realizes someone has to ratch down the free-spending addiction Americans have toward the federal government. That they chose to do it is commendable, and should be replicated.

Of course, there is also no such thing as free money. If Grandview would have taken the half-million to build an unnecessary water tower, they would have had to match it with $225,000 of local funds. That’s something that just isn’t prudent… especially for something that isn’t needed.

Mayor Travis Buck didn’t blame Edwards for getting the earmark: “I do not question his ethics in the least.”

The mayor is mostly right: politicians have been trained ethically by the voters to believe we respond to being bought off with our own money. Fixing the politicians starts with fixing ourselves.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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