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The Top 10 Everything of 2008

Top 10 Outrageous Earmarks

$2 Million for Children's Wooden Arrow Makers

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The passage of the economic bailout bill in October 2008 was viewed as a necessary evil by many reluctant politicians on both the left and the right, but the subsequent revelation of earmarks legislators stuffed in it at the last second only gave them more reservations. Under this particular provision, proposed by Oregon Sens. Democrat Ron Wyden and Republican Gordon Smith, manufacturers of certain wooden arrows designed for use by children would get an exception from an excise tax, which could save them up to $2 million over 10 years. The tax earmark was scarcely noticed during the Senate debate over the bill, but was heavily criticized by the media after it passed. Then-presidential candidate McCain, asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" why he voted for a bill that included earmarks such as this that he frequently denounced and vowed to veto as president, said he had to because the country is "on the brink of economic disaster." Obama — who hadn't made slashing earmarks as big a part of his campaign — was able to get by with just saying he voted for an imperfect bill.

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