Focus Point - Pork Is Back

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. I know some things are going to fly beneath the radar in Washington these days, but if the numbers in a recent Wall Street Journal story are even close, what's flying under the radar is a whole herd of pigs - pork barreling is alive and well.

The projects hidden in spending bills are called "earmarks." Just last Spring the Bush administration proposed to kill billions of dollars worth of them. But week before last, congress approved a $112 billion appropriations bill with 1,400 earmarked projects. House and senate negotiators approved a $75 billion agriculture budget, including an amendment to help U.S. catfish growers fight imports from Vietnam. Last year the White House complained about more than 6,000 earmarks costing $15 billion, and here the congress goes again.

I know President Bush wants us to get back to business, but I don't think this is what he had in mind.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. Visit the NCPA website at http://www.ncpa.org. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, Ray Bradury.