June 2, 2004
Members of Congress are more concerned with bringing home the bacon for their re-election campaigns rather than the country's fiscal future. In their annual report called the Pig Book, the Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) expose the government waste and mismanagement than has gone unchecked.
- In the last two years, the total number of pork barrel projects has increased by 28 percent, with total spending increasing by 1.6 percent.
- The top three increases in pork spending from fiscal years 2003 to 2004 were: Foreign Operations (148 percent), Transportation/Treasury (33 percent) and Interior (29 percent).
- Alaska again led the nation in pork spending with $808 per capita (about $524 million) -- 26 times the national pork average of $31.
- Hawaii and the District of Columbia ranked 2nd and 3rd with $393 per capita ($494 million) and $321 per capita ($181 million), respectively.
- Since 1991, there has been a total of $185 billion spent on pork projects.
Some of the more egregious instances of government waste include $15 million added by the House for dairy development programs overseas under the U.S. Agency for International Development. Similarly, taxpayers must pay about $6.8 million on various YMCA initiatives across the country, as well as $100,000 added by the House for the city of Macon, Georgia, for the renovation of the historic Coca-Cola building.
The CAGW say Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) are particularly guilty of wasting taxpayer money, but suggest that until meaningful budget reform is enacted, all members of Congress will be pressed to bring home the bacon.
Source: "2004 Congressional Pig Book Summary," Citizens Against Government Waste, April 7, 2004.
Browse more articles on Government Issues