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National Debt Glossary

Pejorative terms for federal appropriations, bills, or policies that provide funds to benefit a legislator’s district or state, with the implication that the legislator presses for enactment of such benefits to ingratiate himself or herself with constituents rather than on the basis of an impartial, objective assessment of need or merit.

The terms are often applied to such benefits as new parks, post offices, dams, canals, bridges, roads, water projects, sewage treatment plants and public works of any kind, as well as demonstration projects, research grants and relocation of government facilities.

SOURCE: House Budget Committee

See also: Earmark

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