NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Sidling Up To The Government Trough

March 31, 1999

Citizens Against Government Waste has just released its annual "Pig Book" -- a catalogue of pork-barrel spending. The organization reports that in fiscal year 1999, Congress managed to squeeze 695 more such projects into the federal budget than it did the year before -- a 32 percent increase.

CAGW identified a total of 2,838 pork-barrel projects -- costing taxpayers some $12 billion.

  • Alaska grabbed more pork-barrel dollars per capita than any other state -- $273.76 for each man, woman and child resident
  • Hawaii was runner-up -- at $155.56 per capita.
  • Some $12.5 million of Hawaii's share was earmarked for an East-West Center -- which is supposed to promote better ties with Asia.
  • Perhaps so as not to discriminate against other points of the compass, Florida got $1.8 million for a North-South Center -- to promote better ties with Latin America.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) achieved a distinction of sorts in the 1999 budget. He became the first lawmaker ever to amass $1 billion in pork projects over the years for his state.

Source: Macroscope, "Serving Up Pork," Investor's Business Daily, March 31, 1999.


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