Earmarks Keep Flowing From Congress

by: Matthew Potter
August 7, 2009

Category: Business Line, Congress, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, Federal Budget Process, Hires, Limo-Reid, logistics, Michigan, production program, S&T, Services, States | RSS 2.0

Limo-Reid Technologies of Deerfield, MI will receive a two million dollar earmark in the 2010 Defense Budget if it stands. Right now it is included in the House and Senate versions of the bill thanks to Senators Levin and Stabenow as well as Congressman Schauer. The company is developing a hydraulic based hybrid transmission system for heavy vehicles. The goal is a system that is more efficient and durable. Higher mileage is expected with this transmission as well.

Because it is for such a small amount and has the support of a senior Senator like Levin the chances are good that it will make its way through the whole process and be contained in the final budget. The money will be very helpful to the company and might have potential. The problem with earmarks like this is that while they seem small there are several hundred of them and they ad up. One of the services might think pursuing this technology is worthwhile but not to the point of including it in their prioritized budget. The Department of Defense has a great deal of R&D money to throw at problems but cannot obviously fund everything.

Many earmarks are for things like this: One contract for a company working on something that nobody else may be. They bring jobs to the locality and it makes the legislators look good and shows they are helping out the community. It is also true that Michigan needs all the jobs it can get right now with the collapse of the U.S. auto industry. That does not mean this is necessarily the best use of two million of the taxpayers dollars. The money either has to come from taxes or be borrowed. The U.S. right now has massive debt and it is getting worse and this amount doesn’t seem like much but every bit helps.

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